The European Union (EU) and Germany have joined their efforts to support skills development for the youth in Ghana.
A ceremony was, subsequently, held on Tuesday, in Accra, for the parties; the EU and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, to sign the agreement for the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI).
Mr William Hanna, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, initialed for the Union, while Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, and Mr Alan Walsch, the Country Director of GIZ, signed for their country.
The ceremony was witnessed by Fred Kyei Asamoah, the Executive Director of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
The GSDI covers five trade areas: Auto mechanics, Electronics, Garment /Dress making and Tailoring, Welding and Cosmetology. However, three more trades and two areas in the agricultural value chain would be added.
Implemented by the German GIZ in cooperation with COTVET, the GSDI seeks to improve the quality of the traditional apprenticeship system in the informal sector.
It also aims at building capacity in the informal sector, which generates about 80 per cent to 90 per cent of employment in Ghana.
To that end, the project seeks to improve the quality of the traditional apprenticeship system, which suffers from some structural deficiencies.
The project supports the introduction of competency-based training, which is industry-led and demand driven.
It is an outcomes-based model that is collaborative in its delivery and anchored on occupational standards.
It combines both workplace-based training in the informal sector and school-based training modules at selected Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Training providers.
Mr Retzlaff said: “The strength of the German approach were adapted to the Ghanaian context.”
“We appreciate that the EU Delegation decided to co-finance the Ghana Skills Development Initiative,” he added.
Dr Asamoah hailed the EU and Germany for their sponsorship for the GSDI project; declaring that giving the youth skills would equip them to become more employable and also give them the opportunity to create their own jobs.
He said the German Development Cooperation had been providing support to the TVET sector over the last five years.
Since 2012, he said, a total of 16 training providers and 10 trade associations cooperated in the implementation of the cooperative apprenticeship training for 232 apprentices and 232 Master Crafts persons in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Volta regions.
Dr Asamoah said in March last year, 188 apprentices (81 per cent) were certified on the National TVET Qualifications Framework and they successfully achieved their assessment and received a recognised national proficiency certificate I.
The Executive Director explained that the National TVET Qualifications Framework was the standardised structure for the award of certificates in the TVET sector.
“We are working together to ensure the successful roll-out of the development approach with the Ghana TVET Voucher Programme funded by the German Development Bank, KwfH, to reach thousands of master crafts persons and apprentices of the formal sector,” he said.
“This will lead to skills upgrade for our youth and subsequently enable their livelihoods,” Dr Asamoah stated.
He said following the co-financing agreement, the GSDI III would now expand to three additional trade areas and two agricultural value chains.
Mr Hanna said: “Today is the beginning of a new partnership between Ghana and the EU in the area of skills development. Working together we are investing in youth.”