Business News of Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The training programme is in collaboration between the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and KNUST Jewellery Design and Technology Centre (KJDTC).
The training programme, which is scheduled to last for two years, has attracted a sponsorship package of US$1million from the World Bank, DANIDA, JICA, GTZ, and the African Development Bank.
It is under the Skills Development Fund (SDF) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) to enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs in the jewellery industry through technology and innovation. Specific emphasis is being placed on senior and junior high school graduates who could not further their education but have basic knowledge in computing.
They are to be selected by Assemblymen and women in their respective communities who are stakeholders in the project. The training programme will be handled by professional instructors from KNUST Jewellery Design and Technology Centre (KJDTC), using state-of-the-art technology to teach trainees how to use Computer-Aided Jewellery Design (CAD) technology to produce jewellery designs and to create other products.
The jewellery industry, despite its enormous contribution to the Ghanaian economy — mostly in the areas of foreign exchange, employment creation and tax revenue — is still seen as an infant industry. This notwithstanding, the industry like many others is faced with numerous challenges, the most notable being the use of technology.
The project also offers opportunity to small-scale jewellery manufacturers in the industry to learn highly specialised techniques and approaches in a relatively short time-frame, bringing them up-to-date information on CA/CAM technology to help improve their competitiveness in the global market as well as enhancing their productivity and innovation.
In addition to this, beneficiaries will also receive training in entrepreneurial skills — including management, accounting, and sales and marketing of jewellery on the local and international market among others — to position them well in the market after graduation. Mr. Joseph Kojo Arthur, Principal, KJDTC, said the problem of youth unemployment and underemployment is a major developmental challenge.
Touching on junior high school students who are not able to further their studies upon completion, he noted the need to equip these young people with employable and marketable skills like jewellery manufacturing and design as an important choice to enable them to succeed in the labour market.
He observed that employment-creation remains a major priority in the country’s development agenda as is stated in the National Youth Policy. However, he pointed that not much work has been done to fully attain the policy’s objective.
He therefore reiterated KJDTC’s commitment to help Government achieve its employment policy objective by training more unemployed youth under this project. Mr. Arthur hopes that the project upon its successful completion will ease the unemployment situation currently being faced by Government.