Success Stories

$12.7m Voted To Train Jobless Youth

The skills development fund (SDF) has begun disbursing a total of 12.7 million dollars for the training of hundreds of jobless youths and unskilled workers. The fund, being administered by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), aims at assisting various organizations and associations to develop the technical skills of their workers and their members towards increasing job creation.

The first batch of nine approved beneficiary groups yesterday signed up to access the grants from the Fund which was established to address sustainable financing of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). They are Ghana Telecom University College, Sleek Garments Export Limited, Gratis Foundation, Dream Environment, Volta Regional Bee Keepers Association, Eastern Regional Grass cutter Farmers Association, Brong Ahafo Moringa Farmers Association and Ejisu-Juaben Pig Farmers Association.

The Fund has so far secured support from the Royal Danish Embassy which contributed $10 million for five years; the World Bank also contributed $50 million for five years and the German Embassy pledging 10 million Euros. At a ceremonial signing of the grant with the beneficiary groups and COTVET in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Education, Lee Ocran, expressed his delight that the fund has taken-off after a ten-year delay. The recommendation of the Anamuah-Mensah Report on Educational Reforms in 2002 and a 2007 sub-committee report on Technical and Vocational Education advocated the establishment of SDF. Mr Ocran lauded the Ministry for given maximum support needed to ensure the smooth take-off of the initiative. "This is an indication that the establishment of the Fund as a means for sustainable funding for the technical and vocational skills development in the country is very critical and of importance to government," he said. According to him, nations that placed Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) high on their national agenda were likely to make progress and move out of poverty, and therefore Ghana was on the right path.

The Minister explained that the New Education Reforms placed emphasis on TVET alongside other disciplines such as the promotion of ICT in education, curriculum development, teacher education, infrastructural development, French and agriculture, with the view of giving employable skills to the graduates from the technical and vocational institutes. "Therefore, the establishment of the SDF by the government is in the right direction and of great importance, because a nation which seeks to bring the people out of poverty is closely linked with the emphasis that is placed on technical and vocational education and training and skills development," he noted.

He added that due to this importance the government placed on TVET, steps have been taken to implement the National Apprenticeship Programme which has been on the drawing board for a very long time. He said in 2010/11, the government sponsored 5,000 graduates from Junior High School who could not get access to Senior High School to undertake structured apprenticeship in garment making, electronic, cosmetology and auto mechanics. The government paid for the cost of the training for the 12 month period duration. The intake for the programme, he disclosed had been increased from 5,000 apprentices to 8,000 apprentices this year and four more trade areas were also added to the training programmes. In addition, he said that negotiations have been completed with the African Development Bank to rehabilitate 10 technical schools, two polytechnics and one College of Education to be devoted to training of vocational and technical teachers.

The projects are scheduled to take-off early next year. Mr Ocran expressed government's appreciation to the development partners and donors for the support for the fund, and commended the fund administrators for the dedication towards the successful operation of initiative. He urged all the beneficiaries to put up their best. Dr Dan Baffour-Awuah, Executive Director of COTVET, noted that the SDF is a challenged fund catering for the skills needs of the formal as well as the informal sector. The money would be made available for pre-employment as well as continuous skills upgrading initiatives respectively. He said a total of 145 detailed proposals submitted by the December 2011 deadline, 35 passed the evaluation process as at the end of May 2012. In addition, 48 proposals were due for a third evaluation review to determine their suitability for funding. Source: The Ghanaian Times