A Deputy Minister of Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo has reiterated government’s commitment to upgrade technical and vocational training in the country.
Speaking at a National Forum on TVET financing and youth employment on Thursday, November 25, 2021, Gifty Twum said the unemployment situation in the country can be addressed when technical and vocational training is embraced in the country.
“All over the world, the youth want jobs. The question, however, is, where are the jobs? With the unemployment situation in the country. Government is reforming the TVET sector.”
“In 2016, 2017, 70% of the working population and 63% of the youth were self-employed respectively. Among the poorest, there were 40% of the population at the rate of self-employment and at that time the level was 67%. The recent population and housing census estimated that the Ghanaian Labour force is around 13 million. Out of this, an estimated 4.6 million people are unemployed, and we are sitting on a time bomb. For the PHC, we have realized there are youth between 18 and 35 who are unemployed. This is very worrying. This means that we need to create more jobs and the jobs should be sustainable. We have a lot of gaps we need to fill.”
She noted that most of the job opportunities available in advanced countries are vocational and tech-related.
“If we consider vacancies in other developed countries, we realise that the employment rate is very high, especially for those related to TVET and that is what is controlling their economy, but in Ghana that is not the case.”
She bemoaned the stigmatisation of TVET courses in the country, discouraging the youth from venturing into them.
“We all in one way or the other, contribute to this. In Ghana, students who pursue such courses are seen as not intelligent enough.”
“Parents discourage their children from taking up such courses. They prefer them to pursue professions such as law, medicine, etc.”
Madam Gifty Twum Ampofo further outlined some measures being adopted by the government to promote TVET in Ghana.
“Under the investment and infrastructure and increase of access of TVET, as of now, we are upholding and modernizing all the NVTI and also the OIC headquarters.:
“Together we have three machine centres, one in KNUST and two in Accra. It cost the government some €121 million. Additionally, we are also upgrading 17 technical and vocational institutes. That is under the Chinese government. This will also cost us $191 million to ensure that we have modern workshops and laboratories with state-of-the-art laboratories.”
She also indicated that government has also retooled the workshops under all the 10 technical universities.
“We have also constructed 5 district TVET centres. We are also constructing state-of-the-art TVET Centres. Each Region will have two of them. We have fragmented them into three phases.
“We are still renovating and expanding already existing ones.”
The government of Ghana has committed over $700 million to revamp and transform TVET over the last four years.
The government also committed an additional $200 million dollars through the jobs and skills project to ensure there is quality in TVET delivery, as well as to support MSMEs through the Commission for TVET and the Ghana Enterprise Agencies.