‘Train youth to acquire employment skills’

BY: Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah

The Proprietress of Queenscraft School of Catering in Takoradi in the Western Region, Mrs Grace Anthony, has appealed to the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to develop more practical programmes for educational institutions to equip the youth with employment skills.

She said students needed not pursue higher education, focusing on theory, without due regard for acquiring practical training skills and stressed that practical training was key to addressing unemployment in the country.

Mrs Anthony, who was presenting her report at the 16th graduation ceremony of the school, argued, for instance, that catering was a practical skill, and that acquiring a

Master’s Degree in catering without practical skills was incomplete.

She said her establishment was, therefore doing well to provide students with a lot of practical knowledge, in addition to academic skills.

In all, 110 students graduated from the school, bringing the number of trained persons at the school since its inception in 1999 to a total of 2,000, who are working in various sectors of the hospitality industry. Those who are using their skills at home have also improved their family lives.

The theme for the occasion was, ‘‘A Creator of Employment.’’

The school started with cake decoration but has added courses such as Catering Stroke One, Catering Proficiency and Decoration, which respectively result in training in flower, balloon and fabric; and the authorities plan to introduce more courses that would enable the young and the old to acquire practical skills that would make them financially independent.

‘‘It is our dream that the school will become one of the technical universities in the country and I wish to use this occasion to debunk the notion that catering is only the preserve of women and not attractive to men,’’ Mrs Anthony declared.

The proprietress explained that men who pursued catering as a profession in Ghana were hot cakes because companies needed them to work in the sector, to discourage bringing such professionals into the country to work for those companies.