TVET Standards | Ghana News Agency (GNA)

By Mildred Siabi-Mensah/Joseph Wiyorbie, GNA  

Takoradi, Oct. 18, GNA – Dr Stephen Turkson, a
Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Consultant, has called for a
change in the setup and curriculum of TVET to create a strong partnership
between the technical institutions and industries.

This, he said, would make them vibrant to
attract the needed attention and support from industry rather than depending on
government.

“Government cannot do everything, the
challenges are there, but if we engage industries as partners they can support
in training by bringing in experts to give the skills and standards needed for
industry,” he said.

Dr Turkson was speaking at the first Annual
Developing Industry Standards Conference in Takoradi, organised by the Western
Region Coastal Foundation (WRCF), in collaboration with the National Board for
Professional and Technical Examinations (NABPTEX).

The two-day conference, attended by more than
150 participants from industry, academia, government institutions and the
private sector across the country, was on the theme: “Developing Skills and
Standards for Industry”.

It sought to address the skills and capacity
gaps in the extractive and manufacturing industries and devise a framework for
the introduction of programmes to build capacity in training institutions to
manage the employment needs of the extractive and allied industries.

During a panel discussion on “Industry
standards and skills development,” Dr Turkson said an engagement between
technical institutions and industry to develop the skills needed for the job
market was critical at that stage of industrial evolution.

“Let us see education and training as
collaboration and as partnership drive if we want investors to come into the
country. We need to get a pool of TVET that will support in this direction,” he
said.

Dr Turkson said TVET was not for failures,
non-achievers, and school dropouts among others but rather for people with
active brains and intuitive skills to innovate.

A World Bank study had showed that 80 per cent
of worldwide activities is in TVET.

“So, if we focus on the 20 per cent, you are
creating unemployment, but if you focus on the 80 per cent it will go a long
way to create employment opportunities,” he said.

Dr Turkson said if TVET was well funded, it
would drive the economy, create more jobs and boost development.

He noted that in TVET training, if the
learners are trained very well, they can become innovators and deliver what the
industry want. Also, they can create their own jobs and not depend on the
Government to employ them.

Professor Mahama Duwiejua, the Former
Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), said
TVET was necessary in the socio-economic development of the country as it
provided the skills for national development.

“TVET has a mandate and must be supported
accordingly to be able to provide the needed skills. NABTEX needs to be
strengthened to be able to meet standards in the industry,” he said.

He urged institutions to get closer to the
industries to know the current trends and standards that are globally accepted.

Mr Matthew Armah, the Chief Executive Officer
of WRCF, said: “Our focus is to use dialogue to improve the relevance of
training to industry and identify improvements to bridge the gap between the
supply of skills and demand for skilled workers.”

“Therefore, WRCF hopes that this conference
gives stakeholders the opportunity to broaden discussions and provide input
that help to shape policy to tackle the core issues.”

He expresses excitement at the diverse groups
of people who participated, which has made discussions spirited and
thought-provoking.    

This, he said, had led to some compelling
recommendations to drafting a roadmap towards the implementation of industry
standards.

GNA

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