Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo, a Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), has appealed to the public to develop interest in vocational and technical education saying there is dignity in it.
“Gone are the days when people say one cannot go anywhere with TVET education but with the reforms and transformation of the sector, one can go through TVET to become a professor”, she said.
The Minister, who was speaking at the 7the graduation ceremony of the Biriwa NVTI at the weekend, said trends in the global labour market indicates that personnel with TVET skills are on high demand.
The day, which was celebrated under the theme: “21st century TVET skills; the solution to unemployment in Ghana,” offered the graduates the opportunity to showcase some of their products.
Some 247 students made up of 93 females and 153 males graduated after four years of training in Block Laying and Concreting, Carpentry and Joinery, General Electrical, Catering, Dressmaking, Leather Works, Welding and Fabrications, Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning as well as Generic Skills for sustainable livelihood.
The Deputy Minster said TVET could significantly reduce youth unemployment and eradicate poverty cautioning that the country stood the risk of being left out if conscious efforts are not made to change the narrative about TVET.
“Science, technology and technical skills rule industries today and we need to take them seriously, encourage both young and old to take up courses in them. That is what is going to be the game changer because the whole world is moving towards TVET”, she said.
Mrs Ampofo said government is committed to the total transformation and revolution of TVET to be the game changer for the country.
The President last week cut the sod for a project with a cost of US$131,657,198 for the refurbishment of existing infrastructure and construction of new infrastructure for the existing 34 NVTI centres; while two foundries and machine shops will be built at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
This, she said, is in pursuance of the government’s five-year strategic plan to retool, renovate and transform the TVET sector, adding that 32 state-of-the-art TVET centres would be built across the country while the infrastructure and manpower of the existing 34 TVET institutions would be developed.
The transformation, she said, was not going to be limited to the 34 NVTI institutions but all TVET institutions including the technical universities.
Mrs Ampofo said effective Friday December 27, all contractors working on TVET projects would move to site as all procurement processes have been completed.
She said TVET has moved from the stage of bread and butter to one that is more competitive and employed millions of people and encouraged the graduates to think of establishing their own businesses.
Mrs Mawusi Nudekor Awity, Executive Director of NVTI, admonished parents not to take undue advantage of the free SHS policy to send their wards with interest in TVET, to read humanity courses at the secondary schools adding that NVTI trainees would soon have their share of free education.
Mr Samuel Kwashie Amegbor, the Manager of the Institute, said the institute since its establishment has produced students in various vocation and technical disciplines who are excelling in their field of specialties globally.
He called on government and other stakeholders to help the Institute address its challenges of insufficient staff, security, accommodation for students and staff and poor road network among others which has hindered the mandate of the Institute in training the youth with quality employable TVET skills.