Accra Technical University (ATU) has introduced an initiative that will equip its students with practical experience and skills needed at the corporate world.
Dubbed: “Virtual Internship Programme (VIP)”, the four-week initiative seeks to engage both the academia and corporate world to bridge the gap that has existed over the years by instilling in tertiary students job ethics and corporate culture.
The programme is held during the long vacation when companies will come to the campus to operate their virtual offices with the students.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme in Accra last Monday, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Sylvester Achio, underscored the need to overcome the challenges students faced at their places of attachment.
“Normally, students find the application of knowledge at the place of attachment different from the theory learnt in the class and some do not even get places to do their internship,” he said.
He said though the move by the university was a good one, there were challenges such as lack of space, utilities and transport that could hamper the smooth operation of the university, urging that the management of the university should find ways of surmounting those challenges.
Prof. Achio appealed to industries to collaborate with the tertiary institutions to augment the entrepreneurial skills of the youth.
“This is one of the ways of addressing the unemployment issues in the country because students will be able to build their entrepreneurial capabilities as they leave school”, he added.
For his part, the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Business Development (MBD), Mr Joe Tackie, lauded the university and called on other technical universities to see the internship programme as an opportunity to mend the skills of its students.
“The programme is a good course for the country. It is cost-effective and will bring industries to the doorsteps of the institutions”, he said.
Mr Tackie observed that many youths were slow in innovations and as a result, companies refused to employ graduates from the tertiary education but was quick to add that the future of the nation depended on the entrepreneurial mindset and productivity of the youth.
Mr Tackie reiterated that the government was making efforts to improve business establishments, in particular, as well as the private sector through the national entrepreneurship and innovation plan.
He believed the programme would offer transformation and a pillar of flexibility for both the academia and the corporate world.