Vocational training institutions need to combine the provision of technical education with excellent customer service skills to make their graduates competitive in the global market.
Mr Samuel Amegayibor, Executive Secretary of Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), who gave the advice explained that many employers now preferred to engage foreign trained artisans over their Ghanaian counterparts because of the latter’s poor work ethics.
He was addressing the 7th Graduation Ceremony of the New Century Career Training Institute (NCCTI) at Dansoman, Accra.
“Many Ghanaian technical workers are skilled but lack the right attitude and are not focused on their work. You employ their services and you have to rather call, begging them to do the work that you would pay them for,” Mr Amegayibor criticised.
“The concern for most employers are soft skills, especially attitude. These have serious consequences for teamwork and productivity,
“This is why I am advising the technical school providers that whilst imparting the hard skills they should include sessions involving soft skills.
“We need to orient them to embrace positive attitude towards work, punctuality, team spirit, interpersonal relationships, amongst others.”
The graduation ceremony was on the theme: “Quality TVET Service—The Role of the Industry.”
In all, 77 students graduated from the following fields of study; Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Building Draughtsmanship, Plumbing, Computer Hardware Servicing, General Electricals, Electronics, Dressmaking and Catering.
New Century Career Training Institute was established by the 31st December Women’s Movement with assistance from the Chinese Government in 1999.
The management and administration of the institute was handed over to the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and training started on February, 17, 2000.
The Institute has since trained more than 2,000 young people with quality employable skills towards making them attain sustainable livelihoods.
Mr Amegayibor emphasised that no country could develop its economy without TVET because it was an engine that propelled industrialisation and improved a nation’s economic fortunes.
He, however, noted that Ghana’s educational system consistently, attached a higher premium to knowledge-based education (what is called book long) to the neglect of TVET and Skills development.
This had mainly led to local industries suffering from shortage of competent skilled personnel and sometimes had to rely on labour importation, especially from neighboring countries, he noted.
As part of efforts to reverse the trend, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday, December 14, launched the Ghana TVET Service at the Accra Technical Training Centre.
Subsequently, all TVET Institutions captured under the Ghana TVET Service will be included in next academic year’s (February 2022) Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) for selection by Junior High School graduates to enjoy the Government’s flagship programme “FREE TVET FOR ALL”.
The Vice President encouraged the graduands to take advantage of the many skills development and training opportunities TVET offered in order to feed industries to thrive.
Madam Rita Gyening, Manager of New Century Career Training Institute, said the creation of the Ghana TVET Service and its “Free TVET for all” initiative would make vocational and technical training attractive to the youth.
This would help to end the marginalisation of vocational and technical training institutes and their graduates.
Mrs Gyening expressed the commitment of her Institute to continually train students to deliver optimal technical skills with a positive attitude.
She, however, called on benevolent bodies and public-spirited individuals to resource the Institute to sustain its services, especially, to acquire a pick up vehicle to replace the 21-year-old one, which they had to rely on.
In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs Mawusi Nudekor Awity, Director General of the Ghana TVET Service, said TVET increased productivity, empowered individuals to become self-reliant and stimulated entrepreneurship.
Focusing on TVET, therefore, led to investing in national socio-economic development.
Mrs Awity recommended that all TVET institutions incorporated entrepreneurship skills in their syllabus from the first year level to equip students with those skills for the job market.
The institutions must also deliver the requisite and approved tuition to trainees to produce an array of quality TVET professionals to ensure a thriving TVET industry.