The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has called on the management of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) to work hard to implement measures the government has put in place rigorously to strengthen Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
She said technical and vocational education was a priority for the government because of its belief that it was a major antidote to the unemployment situation in the country.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking at a graduation ceremony for trainees under the ‘Short-Term Skills Training for Ghanaians returning from the Diaspora and Potential Migrants’ at the NVTI headquarters in Accra yesterday.
The €821,763 project is under the Migration and Employment Programme (MEP), a component of the Programme for Sustainable Economic Development (PSED) being funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The MEP is being implemented by the British Council and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
A total of 213 trainees graduated in 11 skill areas in the Greater Accra Region, bringing the total number of people trained under the programme countrywide to 400.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo said the government had already spent $600 million on TVET in the last three and half years, adding that it was a commitment that had yielded substantial dividends in the development of infrastructure and human resource.
She said the government was committed to resolving the unemployment situation, empowering the youth, and creating sustainable livelihoods for its citizens.
Commending the management and staff of the NVTI, the First lady said the skills and training offered by the institute culminated in life-changing stories for the graduands who would have suffered severe maltreatment and lived under inhumane conditions in another man’s country in search of greener pastures.
"I am excited about the tremendous transformation in your operations lately, and I am confident that with the necessary support, you will cement your position as the champions of TVET in Ghana," the First Lady said.
She said the German government had positioned itself as Ghana’s key partner in the area of TVET and that their enormous support was very much appreciated.
"We look forward to more collaborations as we also emulate your model of using TVET as a pivot for industrialisation as part of government’s flagship, One-district, One-factory programme,” Mrs. Akufo-Addo added.
The First Lady also admonished the graduands to make good use of the training they had received, and use their case as a reference of the TVET success story, especially on their decision to a skill rather than throttle round the globe in search of non-existent greener pastures.
"You have shown the world your bravery and commitment to use legitimate means to earn a living, and this is commendable," she said.
Explaining details of the project, the Executive Director of the NVTI, Mrs. Mawusi Nudekor Awity, said the hard skills component of the project was provided by the NVTI in 11 skill areas, including fashion, bead making, electricals, carpentry, and masonry.
She indicated that 26 NVTI accredited institutions from both public and private sectors, as well as mastercraft persons, were involved in the training which spanned between three and eight months.
Mrs. Awity mentioned that a total of 400 trainees, comprising 293 females and 107 males, had benefited from the project after which they were presented with startup tools and kits.
According to her, similar graduation events had been conducted in Sunyani and Kumasi.