The era of apprentices being asked to run errands for master craftsmen will be a thing of the past with the passage of National Apprenticeship Policy to harmonise apprenticeship practice in Ghana.
The policy, which is at the draft stage, will serve to synchronise traineeship and provide guidelines for effective coordination and implementation of good practices towards national economic growth and development.
The Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) is developing the policy document in collaboration with the British Council.
Speaking at the “I-Work result sharing” workshop on the draft National Apprenticeship Policy in Accra, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, expressed optimism that the policy will minimise abuses in the apprenticeship system.
“Even if the policy does not end it (running errands for master craftsmen), it should be minimised to the barest form,” she said.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said TVET has the potential to stimulate economic development and make the “Ghana beyond aid” agenda possible.
She indicated that the government has been taking practical steps to make Ghana the centre of excellence in TVET in Africa and globally competitive, saying “good apprenticeship attracts good pay.”
She said the Ministry of Education aims to help provide quality world-class apprentices who would attract the attention of employers globally.
She therefore advised parents and other stakeholders to help educate children and young people about TVET as the government strives to make the education system more attractive.
“If we want to develop our economy and ensure sustained job for the youth, then we must all join hands together to make apprenticeship more attractive than it is now,” she added.
In his contribution, the executive director of COTVET, Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, said countries like Germany, United State of America, Australia, United Kingdom and other European countries have developed their industries through apprenticeship.
“The development of the nation is based on standardisation and quality of apprenticeship programmes,” he added.
The draft policy had passed through various process like interviews, validation and consultative meetings before it was prepared for sharing.
It will provide practical guidelines to policymakers and employers to improve upon the quality of training of apprentices.
Dr Asamoah said the policy will provide mechanism for aligning skills and knowledge acquired through apprenticeship with requirements of the world of work.
According to him, it will also improve effective collaboration among employers, training providers and the informal sector and ensure adequate and sustainable funding arrangement for apprenticeship practice.
“It will ensure effective review and application of lessons through efficient mobilisation and dissemination of liable and disaggregated information,” he said.
Positive turning point
The director of programme and partnership at the British Council, Mr Chikodi Onyemerela, said the “I-Work Project” is a two-year programme that seeks to create enhanced opportunities for young people in the Commonwealth, by building the capacity of TVET leaders and practitioners.
The project connects training providers in India, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Ghana and South Africa.
He is hopeful that upon the passage of the policy it will make a positive turning point in apprenticeship delivery in Ghana.
The policy is also expected to improve the relationship between master craft persons and their trainees.
The apprenticeship policy aims to deliver a well-coordinated, inter-sectoral national apprenticeship system enabling all categories of learners to acquire relevant skills for employment, livelihoods empowerment and socio-economic development.