The Executive Director of the National Vocation Training Institute (NVTI), Mrs Mawusi Nudekor Awitey has stressed the need for Ghana to make a paradigm shift in its economic structure towards one that hinged on expanding value addition to its natural resources.
This, she said had become necessary because of the current global trends and the quest of government to achieve rapid economic growth.
Mrs Awitey made the call when she addressed the 5th graduation and 2nd best staff award ceremony of the Biriwa Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Institute (VTRI) in the Central Region on Saturday.
The day, which was celebrated on the theme “Quality TVET: a tool for Ghana’s rapid industrialization growth” offered the graduands the opportunity to showcase some of their products to the general public.
A total of 153 students, some of who did 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 graduated.
According to her, massive industrialization engendered varied processing efforts to create spiral effect in various sectors of the economy, thereby leading the transformation that would enhance industrial growth.
Mrs Awitey emphasized that a skilled workforce was needed at all sectors of the economy as it remained a pre-condition for the economic growth of the country and urged the government to make skills development a priority.
“The skills so developed, shall lead to self-reliance in the absence of wage employment and enhance the industrialization process” she added.
Mrs Awitey said it was urgent for TVET providers to have the needed tools and equipment, adequate training materials and well qualified trainers to be able to provide relevant skills necessary for enhancing economic performance.
She also stressed the need for TVET institutions to ensure constant engagement with industry for trainees to have practical attachment to be abreast with the fast changing World of technology and industry.
She said the NVTI was working hard to re-tool the institute in that direction.
Mr Samuel Kwashie Amegbor, the Institute Manager said the institute since its establishment in 1974 had trained more than 6,500 local and international students in various vocation and technical disciplines who were excelling in their field of specialty globally.
He advocated a strong TVET front in Ghana as the job market had huge deficit of high and semi-skilled labour needed to be filled by TVET.
Mr Amegbor called on the government and other stakeholders to help the Institute address its problem of inadequate residential accommodation for students and teaching staff and inadequate infrastructure and obsolete tools and machines.
He mentioned other challenges facing the institute to include; absence of official vehicles, poor road network on campus and absence of power plant and an assembly hall.
The challenges, he said hindered the mandate of the Institute in training the youth with quality employable TVET skills to meet the demands of 21st century job market.