A middle- income economy such as Ghana should focus on training efficient technical and vocational personnel to propel the industrial sector and be able to export skilled labour to other countries, the Proprietress of Hakies Floral and Catering Institute, Ms Adwoa Harrison-Afful, has said.
She said when people lacked technical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, the natural resources of the country were underutilised, and, therefore there was the need to critically examine the policies and strategies for vocational education in the country.
“We live in a global economy that demands relevant skills in order to compete successfully and vocational training and skills development should be paramount for all,” Ms Harrison-Afful said at the 18th Graduation Ceremony of Hakies Floral and Catering Institute in Accra.
At the ceremony which involved the exhibition of cakes, food and flower, 35 students from the regular stream of the school graduated.
She said the theme: “the role of vocational education and training in national economic development “, was thoughtfully considered because management believed that the development of the country depended so much on the value the country placed on vocational education.
“No matter your educational background, vocational education brings out your God-given talent which is expressed in many ways,” she said.
“Our programme, Groom Them Young, is an innovation for young children to use their hands to design, mould, shape and create things by introducing them to culinary art, cake making, designing and sugar craft, flower craft, balloon and ribbon décor, bead making and millinery. This is to bring out, at an early age, their creative skills and talents essential for all future endeavours”.
At Hakies, she said, students were trained to meet clients’ specification and international standards.
“Hakies will continue and will always play a lead role as a centre of excellence in vocational training with support from local and international partners.
“Hakies Floral and Catering Institute is now a centre of excellence for various courses. As a result, we are in talks with the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) to run apprenticeship programmes with internationally recognised certification,” she said.
An Educationist, Rev. Dr Yaw Takyi, commended the management of the institute for rolling out programmes that would give the youth hands-on skills.