Institutions, industry collaboration crucial in skills development

In the ever-evolving landscape of today's global economy, the imperative to arm our workforce with the requisite skills and expertise cannot be overstated. 

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One of the pathways for the provision of skills is Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which helps to tackle youth unemployment by equipping students with skills that match industry needs.

While TVET provides students with practical skills and competences needed for the workforce to enhance their employability, it helps reduce poverty by providing training in income-generating activities which will enable individuals to improve their socio-economic status.

It is no gainsaying that TVET contributes to the country’s economic development by producing skilled workers for the construction of key sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. Regarding women and girls empowerment, TVET gives opportunities to women and girls to acquire skills and promote gender equality.  

Recognising the pivotal role of TVET, Ghana has embarked on a laudable journey to bolster national productivity and employability by revamping its TVET curriculum. Indeed, the TVET framework stands as the bedrock of Ghana's industrialisation aspirations, furnishing our industries with the adept workforce necessary to foster progress and prosperity.

It is incumbent upon us to acknowledge that the ultimate beneficiaries of TVET output are the industries themselves, thereby underscoring the indispensability of their input in shaping the educational landscape.

As Ghana charts its course towards heightened productivity and employability, the recent overhaul of the TVET curriculum signifies a watershed moment in skill development. The advent of the Competency-Based Training (CBT) curriculum, staunchly supported by industry stakeholders, heralds a new era of tailored capacity-building aimed at meeting the nation's burgeoning skill demands.

To operationalise this symbiotic relationship between academia and industry, the establishment of sector skills under the aegis of the Commission for TVET (CTVET) emerges as a beacon of collaboration.

Comprising representatives from pertinent industries, these sector skills entities are poised to catalyse growth and competitiveness by spearheading initiatives such as business innovation, capacity enhancement and skills alignment.

They encapsulate a holistic approach to bridging skills gaps, enhancing productivity, and fostering a conducive environment for employability and entrepreneurship. Moreover, they are vested with the responsibility of championing competency-based training, fostering innovation and nurturing sustainable development through robust research endeavours.

In celebrating this collaborative endeavour, it is imperative for all sectors relying on skilled labour from our training institutions to converge and ensure that the curriculum imparts tangible, industry-relevant skills.

Gone should be the days when graduates languish in idleness due to a mismatch between educational output and market needs. The Daily Graphic commends the invaluable support of the German government and the European Union in funding the Pact for Skills project, which promises to elevate the quality of TVET programmes and fortify industry-education partnerships.

The pact is also expected to elevate the quality of TVET programmes, fortify industry-education partnerships and instil a culture of lifelong learning. The current commitment to the TVET sector by the government in the past few years has ignited lots of interests from some of the development partners and other non-governmental organisations.

The refurbishments of workshops, the construction of state-of-the-art laboratories and some STEM schools and the injection of more funds in to the TVET sector and more importantly, the establishment of the sector skills bodies are commendable moves by the government that should be sustained and built upon.

This concerted effort underscores a collective commitment to nurturing a skilled and adaptable workforce poised to navigate the complexities of the modern economy. Furthermore, the sustained commitment of the government in fortifying the TVET sector through infrastructure upgrades and financial injections merit commendation.

These initiatives, coupled with the establishment of sector skills bodies, constitute vital steps towards fostering a conducive ecosystem to skill development and national advancement.

As we ascend the ladder of progress, it behoves us to sustain this momentum and cultivate closer collaboration between academia and industry. We must be able to bridge the gap between education and industry needs so that we develop the skilled labour to propel national economic development.

Only through a concerted effort can we realise our shared vision of a skilled workforce poised to propel Ghana's developmental agenda to unprecedented heights.

The Daily Graphic is one big proponent of TVET because by prioritising it, the country can develop a skilled workforce, drive economic growth, and reduce poverty and unemployment.

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