Ghana and the United States are set to strengthen ties in the area of vocational and technical training.
This came to light when the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashitey recently paid a working visit to some renowned vocational and training institutions in the United States of America at the invitation of U.S. Department of Labor for a programme on Child Labor.
The Institutions the Minister visited included; Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in Mount Morris, SUNY Geneseo, American Rock Salt, Once Again Nut Butter and Noyes Health.
He also visited the renowned Edison Tech and Munroe Community College respectively.
Mr. Armah Ashitey said he is hopeful that the American institutions would share ideas with their Ghanaian counterparts on how to develop workforce infrastructure in Ghana, adding that, possible partnerships will be the way to go.
“It is amazing when you come to realize what goes on between industry and education,” he said. “If education is the key to [economic] development, then technical and vocational training is a must to develop in the world of the workforce.”
He noted that vocational and technical training “can open a lot more doors than just education. There is a mismatch between academics and the world of work that has to be breach.”
According to the sector Minister, the President, John Mahama is seeking to reposition the country’s economy to one with a strong manufacturing base that sells value-added products abroad and to also create its own demand for made-in-Ghana products.
This is to reduce imports and provide more jobs, especially for youth adding that, it is therefore imperative to place high premium on vocational and technical training.
Mr. Ashitey said the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations is pushing for a strong partnership between Edison Tech, which is a highly respected technical and Training Institution and local institutions such as the NVTI, Integrated Community Centre for Employable Skills (ICCESS) and Opportunities Industrialization Centers Ghana OIC Ghana.
The Minister is also advocating for a partnership between the Accra Polytechnic and Suny Geneseo where ideas on manufacturing and other technical issues could be shared and transferred.
Other career focused areas at the heart of the partnership include, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Automotive Technology, Computer Technology, Construction/Carpentry, Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management Services, Engineering and Design, Graphic Communication Technologies and Health Science.
Such partnership will also include drawing up a curriculum for special education that will ensure the disabled and other disadvantaged people fit in society and not live their lives on the streets.
By: Afiba Anyanzua Anyanzu/citifmonline.com/Ghana