Minister visits Skills Development Fund grantees

Okudzeto-Ablakwa - Dep. Education Minister
Okudzeto-Ablakwa – Dep. Education Minister

The Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, has lauded the Precious Minerals Marketing Company for its efforts to add value to the country’s mineral resources in order to attract higher foreign exchange to support the economy.

Mr Okudjeto-Ablakwa was speaking during a visit by a government delegation to the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).

Skills Development Fund SDF awarded a grant of GHC 584,000 to train staff of the PMMC in diamond polishing and cutting to serve the high demand in West Africa.

The visit was to assess the impact of the support on the Company’s Diamond Cutting and Polishing Centre.

Mr Okudjeto Ablakwa said value addition to the country’s natural resources would only not create jobs but also generate the needed foreign exchange to accelerate the pace of the country’s development.

He expressed continuous government support and funding for skills development in the various sectors of the economy.

Mr Seth Klaye, a Board Member of the PMMC, said the Centre had been operating for over a year and half with technology from India.

He said the Centre presented an opportunity for Ghana to develop the diamond industry and generate foreign exchange from other countries in the West African Sub-region.

Mr Klaye said in the past the Company had to send its mined diamonds to India, Belgium the United Kingdom to be polished at a great cost.

But the SDF facility given them had enabled the company to train 60 of its staff in cutting and polishing of diamonds.

Mr Klaye said the large stone section was yet to be commissioned and that there was the need to retained trained staff.

At the Chalk Production Centre, the National Advocacy Officer of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled, Isaac Tuggun expressed appreciation to COTVET for the support to boost the production of chalk.

SDF awarded a grant of GHC 21,300 to collaborate with GRATIS Foundation to develop a modern moulding technology that will facilitate production increase; from 50 pieces of chalk in 15 minutes to 225 pieces of chalk.

Mr Tuggun said it was an opportunity to create jobs for persons with disability in society and also to enhance their skills.

Mr Okudjeto-Ablakwa said government recognised the valuable contribution persons with disability are making to the country and said the Ghana Education Service is always ready to buy the chalks from the Association.

The SDF is an initiative of Ghana in partnership with the World Bank and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

The Fund is aimed at improving demand-driven skills development and increased adoption of new technologies in selected economic sectors of Ghana by funding training and technology development opportunities.

It will also promote improved linkages between private sector employers and training and technology institutions through a competitive fund.

Established in 2011, SDF is managed by a Project Support Unit of the COTVET with $50 million from the World Bank and $10 million from DANIDA for 2011-2016.

Source: GNA

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