Director-General of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah, has disclosed that TVET has been downplayed for a long time and there is the need to make it a national agenda to address the skills gap in the country.
Speaking in an interview ahead of World Skills Ghana competition, Dr Asamoah revealed that it is necessary for the youth in Ghana to develop their skills. He explained that western countries have enjoyed significant improvement in their economies and growth of employment due to their focus on skills development.
The Director-General for CTVET disclosed that Ghana has ignored the core value of TVET education for decades. This, he explained, must be blamed on the frequent importation of foreign goods into the country.
“If you look at the advanced countries, you have close to fifty percent of their young ones going for skills training (TVET). Let’s take Finland. Just recently the economy turned around [and] they have 50% of their young ones going for TVET. Let’s talk about Germany [which has] about 70% [and] Switzerland has about 78%. So, the western world has made an attempt to criminalize, somehow, skill training in our part of the world. If somebody is an electrical installer [or] a painter, we disregard… so skill, TVET definitely has been downplayed for a long time”.Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah
Make Ghana competitive on world front
Dr Asamoah emphasized the need for Ghana “to be able to compete with the western world”, considering the fourth industrial revolution we find ourselves in. He stated that western countries are coming out every day with new products and services, leaving Ghana at the receiving end.
He recounted efforts made by government in 2017 “to transform our TVET sector”, by virtue of its “five-year strategic plan”. He indicated that one of the primary reasons for the plan was to change people’s perception about the sector.
That notwithstanding, Dr Asamoah explained that efforts and “infrastructure” put in place may end in futility if peoples “will to participate in” training and education is non-existent.
“We are looking at how do we make sure our young ones are very competitive because skill is currency. So, what we are trying to do is not only to give more confidence and project skill training and its development but also to make people become competitive. Because if we can have competitive skills across the world, it will be able to help us to generate most of the products here [and] we can get a lot of people going into skill training”.Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah
World Skills Ghana Competition
Touching on World skills Ghana Competition, Dr Asamoah underscored the need for the country to focus on industrial skill and not just knowledge acquisition. He revealed that despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, participants are on course in competing at the World Skill International.
“One of the things is to change the perception, market and promote technical and vocational education. Through that… government did apply to the World Skill International and we were accepted [in] June 2019 officially as the 81st member of the World Skill International”.Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah
Dr Asamoah announced that successful competitors in the World Skills Ghana competition, will travel to Namibia for the World Skills Africa competition before they proceed to the bigger competition slated for 2022.
“On October 27, 2021, the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will be launching the World Skills 2021 alongside with our TVET Expo”. Then we have fourteen skill areas that competitors are going to compete in…”Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah