Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies would no longer have to seek the services of experts from outside Ghana for the maintenance and servicing of their sophisticated and delicate machines and equipment.
This is because the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), under its Pilot Training Institute (PTI), has graduated the first batch of 15 students who undertook intensive 12-month training in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Certificate Programme (Pharmatech).
The skilled professionals are now readily available to provide the special services to address the scarcity of technicians to operate and maintain pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment.
Mr. Kwabena Asante Offei, the Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana, at the maiden Pharmatech graduation in Accra on Friday, commended the NVTI and its partners for the support in ensuring the successful outcome of the training.
He said the skillful manpower would save both local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies and food and beverage industries from their over-reliance on imported expert services which were often very expensive.
He highlighted the theme for the occasion; “Pharmatech Training; Partnering with Industry,” and called for industry to sustain its collaboration with training institutions to be able to design and produce the right manpower to feed the industrial sector for continuous development.
Mr Offei promised the Institute and the technicians of a ready market for the skills acquired, and urged members of the Association to provide immediate employment for the young and talented technicians, and also support them to upgrade their skills to be conversant with continuously changing technology.
“With the rate of growth of the local industry today, I will not be surprised at all if in the shortest possible time Ghana becomes not only self-sufficient in the production of its pharmaceutical needs, but also becomes the hub for the production of quality pharmaceutical products in Africa,” he said.
Mr. Ofei said Ghana’s pharmaceutical industry had resolved to increase its share of the total national drug requirements from the current 30 per cent to 60 per cent by 2020.
Mr. Maxwell Kofi Zanu, the Manager of NVTI’s Pilot Training Institute, said the programme, the first of its kind in Africa, was an industry-led public-private vocational training.
He said it was supported by a development partnership between Sandoz, a German Generics Company, La Gray Chemical Company, a Ghanaian Pharmaceutical Company and the Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Mr Zanu said the programme had been piloted in Ghana since March 2015 and was geared towards students with a vocational background in electronics, electrical installation, heating ventilation and air-conditioning as well as mechanical engineering.
Industry-led specific curriculum and training modules for the programme have been jointly developed by all project partners according to international standards and subsequently validated by the NVTI Apprenticeship Council.