Skills Development is key issue

Skills Development is key issue

Arnout de Koster Country manager View profile

Employers have often stressed that the requisite skills needed to accelerate production in the private sector are in short supply. In view of this the Ghana Employers’ Association GEA, with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), undertook a survey to ascertain the available skills and skills that are in short in supply. DECP had been invited to attend the presentation by researcher Dr.William Baah-Boateng of the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana during a conference on Skills Development.

Skills Development is one of the major topics DECP is concentrating on. That is why a DECP expert accepted the invitation. The presentation of Dr. Baah-Boateng revealed that the gap of skills is a real challenge for Ghanaian employers. The lack of knowledge of mathematics, ICT, communications skills and even literacy is hampering economic growth of sectors like manufacturing industry and agriculture. GEA offered the DECP expert the opportunity to be part of the discussion panel in order to reflect on the research findings and to discuss options for solutions. It became clear that GEA, as Employers’ Organisation, has to play an important role in defining a road map on Skills Development and work together with individual companies and economic sectors as well as with the government to contribute to improvements. Even the national press was invited by GEA. An article appeared in the issue in the Ghanaian Times.

Furthermore, GEA had organised a round table meeting with Mr. Kwame Ofori- Gyau, HR Director, Vlisco Ghana, Mr. Gilbert Gawu-Mensah, Ag. HR Director, Ghana Cocoa Board and  Ms. Della Agbelie, Group HR of the Finatrade Group. An in-depth discussion has been conducted by Mr. Alex Frimpong, CEO of GEA together with the invited representatives and the DECP expert on particular skills development issues in these sectors. After an interesting brainstorm session it has been concluded that GEA will attend the cross-cutting workshop DECP will organise later this year and that DECP will support GEA on developing a road map which will lead to concrete action plans.

A visit to the Technical University of Accra completed the DECP mission to Ghana. This university integrates vocational education with scientific education until the PhD level. The CBT concept (Competence Based Training), which has been developed and implemented by the Technical University, was presented and interesting examples of several departments have been discussed.