COTVET Outdoors Free Education For The Informal Sector

An ambitious project that seeks to provide free vocational education to the informal sector by leveraging on the professional expertise of players in industry and academia has been outdoored in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana.

Dubbed “Ghana TVET Voucher Project”, the initiative aims to provide competence based training (CBT) to registered master craft persons, their workers and apprentices from the informal sector and also improve their access to accredited technical and vocational education and training at no cost.

It will also enable them to obtain National Proficiency Level I and II Certificates and strengthen Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) stakeholders, such as training institutes, trade associations and the regulatory body, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).

Furthermore, the project aims to establish a consistent incentive system for vocational training providers taking into consideration the labour market relevance of such training.

Unveiling the project at a short ceremony at the Takoradi Technical University on Thursday, April 25, 2019, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said the NPP-led government strongly believes that it is technical and vocational education that is going to be the driving force of the country’s industrial and economic development, hence the introduction of the Ghana TVET Voucher Project.

“This initiative by the Government of Ghana further epitomizes its avowed commitment to making education, especially, technical and vocational attractive and accessible to all Ghanaians”, he noted.

Apart from the Ghana TVET Voucher Project, he said the NPP administration has outlined a set of strategies to provide a sound footing for skills development and job creation, key amongst them are a database for trained apprentices and artisans, setting up of a national apprentice recruitment agency, setting up a portal to assist artisans in marketing their products and supporting the institutionalization of business incubation and industrial apprenticeship systems to ensure innovative ideas are transformed into business while new graduates acquire the basic technical competencies employers require.

Further to that, he said the Ministry of Education has initiated plans to secure additional funding from the World Bank to implement among others, the Ghana National Skills Development Fund which will provide funding to over 1,000 businesses for the purposes of skills upgrading, technology development and job creation.

The proposed project, which will be managed by COTVET, he added, is expected to commence by the end of 2019.

He assured of the Government’s commitment to continuously support COTVET to enhance its capacity to regulate and coordinate the delivery of TVET in Ghana with special focus to operationalize the National TVET Qualifications Framework, and the adoption of Competency Based Training and Assessment methodologies in all TVET institutions and the rebranding of TVET to make it attractive to the youth.

The National Team Leader for the Ghana TVET Voucher Project, Collins Armah, on his part said for the country to get the needed employment for its youth, it has to put TVET at the forefront whatever it does.

The project, he explained, started in 2017 where it was piloted in four regions namely; Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Volta Regions.

Having successfully piloted the project, there was the need to scale it up to cover three other regions including the Central, Western and Eastern Regions.

The project, according to Mr. Armah, is to help the people in the informal sector to enable them have access to quality training in a recognized training provider.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Efia/Kwesimintsim Assembly, Kojo Acquah commenting on the project said the Assembly is poised to reduce unemployment and empower the youth in income generating activities and therefore sees the Ghana TVET Voucher Project as welcoming news.

He assured COTVET of the Assembly’s collaboration in all aspects of development and activities of the project aimed at satisfying master craftsmen and their apprentices.

“As a municipality which falls within Sekondi/Takoradi, we will do all that we can to support the initiative so that it will see the light of day”.
Mr. Acquah then urged the youth to take advantage of the opportunity knocking at their doors to register to enable them upgrade on their skills, noting that “with further training, you will become highly skilled workers in the industry that has high employability rate”.