TVET gaining traction among policymakers – employment minister

Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR)

Technical vocational education training (TVET) is increasingly gaining traction among policymakers, investors and the entire business community, Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah has said.

According to the minister, TVET has potential to drive socio-economic transformation and accelerated national development, as individuals who acquire TVET training are able to establish their own businesses – thereby contributing their quota toward nation-building through job creation.

Some years ago, technical and vocational training had little or no support – leading to many students abandoning it for the arts, business and science-related courses in second cycle institutions. It also had to endure some negative perceptions about it, among other drawbacks.

However, since the TVET Service launch in 2021 by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, it has seen tremendous improvement – especially after all technical and vocational schools were included in the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).

Prior to this, the sector was confronted with many challenges which made it difficult for it to become the key catalyst for industrialisation and decent job creation.

However, in a speech read on his behalf at the GrEEn Job fair held in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Mr. Baffour Awuah emphasised that due to demands of the changing world of work, government is positioning TVET to be responsive to the changing times.

This includes reviewing the current curriculum; provision of state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities; strengthening industry collaboration; quality assurance and shaping the public perception and mindset regarding TVET.

He added that through these policy initiatives the existential challenges of TVET are gradually becoming a thing of the past, with focus shifting to emerging technologies, current industry practices and market demands.

“We envision an era when Ghanaian artisans are the most-sought after continentally, if not globally. In economic terms, the export of artisans to other countries will improve Ghana’s foreign exchange position significantly.

“We are confident that by fostering positive and effective collaboration and partnerships with the private sector, particularly in the field of TVET, we can further expand green job opportunities for our youth,” the minister said.

He further called for a rethink of TVET to ensure it is responsive to changing trends and demands, especially climate change concerns.

“Currently, the happenings of climate change globally have also brought about related policies and measures in some choices we make, particularly with regard to the environment and labour market. Here in Ghana, the National Green Jobs Strategy is no exception to such policies. It gives a clear pathway for harmonisation of on-going green interventions; building green skills for the youth; and establishing green enterprises as well as financing those green enterprises.

“It also gives a background of transitioning from the brown to green economy – which is making waves around the world accompanied with the emergence of new jobs and the waning of some old jobs,” he added.

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