Location: Kumasi - Ashanti Region, Ghana, W/A
Postal Address: P. O. Box 854, Kumasi Fax: +233 (0)3220-22387
Tel: +233 (0)3220-22387, +233 (0)3220-22388
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) Prof Mike Agbesi Acheampong has attributed the high rate of graduate unemployment in the country to lack of people with relevant skills needed for the available jobs. He said the graduate unemployment situation in the country is not necessarily due to lack of jobs but the mismatch between the available jobs and the products churned out from the country’s institutions.
Prof. Mike A. Acheampong made this known when he was addressing students, competitors and key stakeholders on the launch of the Southern Zonal Skills Competition held in September at the New Great Hall of Kumasi Technical University. The theme for this year’s National Skills Competition was “Skills for jobs and National Development’. The event was spearheaded by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and hosted by Kumasi Technical University. The essence of the competition was to rekindle the need for the youth and the entire Ghanaians to embrace technical and vocational education as the surest way for self-reliance. The two zonal competitions held in Kumasi and Accra were to get winners to represent the country in the Africa Skills Competitions as well as the global one.
The competition was divided into two zones of northern and southern parts of Ghana. The Southern Zone comprised Greater Accra, Western, Volta, Central and Eastern regions while the Northern Zone was made up of contestants from the Upper East, Upper West, Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti and Northern regions. The competitions which were concurrently held in Accra and Kumasi were highly patronized with 200 registered contestants expected to compete in eleven skills areas. The categories for the competition were Manufacturing and Engineering Technology which consisted of Mechatronics, Welding Construction and Metal Works, and it had 7 people contesting. Information Technology which had Information Network Cabling as well as IT Software Solutions for Business registered 2 contestants. Construction and Building Technology category had Construction Work & Brick Laying, Electrical Installation, Wood Construction/Furniture Design as its skill areas for the competition which had 12 contestants. Fashion and Creative Arts Category had Fashion Technology and Graphic Design Technology with 26 people contesting, while Social and Personal Service category with its Baking and Cooking Catering and the Cosmetology areas registered 6 people for the covetous prize at stake. The last sector skill category which was Transport and Logistics was subdivided into Auto Body Repair and Automobile Technology with 5 contestants showing up.
The Acting V.C lauded the government for embarking on massive reforms in the Education Sector, especially, in the area of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and also hinted that Technical Universities and the other TVET institutions were going to be the vehicle for developing the technical skills of the youth for accelerated national development. The four-day programme was an opportunity for people who were 25 years and below to showcase their talents.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah in his address stated that the government has carefully drawn up programmes for skills development to prepare the youth of the country to take up the mantle of leadership of the country. He said the government has among other things established apprenticeship and skills development centers to train skilled labour force for specific industrial sectors. The Regional Minister added that the government will continue to partner trade unions to develop database for trained apprentices and artisans and also establish a National Apprentice Recruitment Agency.
He finally appealed to the Association of Ghana Industries, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry to get involved in the subsequent competitions organised by COTVET so that together, they could produce the needed workforce to support the country’s economic growth so as to push the Ghana beyond aid agenda.