Ghana has officially been inaugurated into the WorldSkills family as the 81st member country at the General Assembly of WorldSkills International held in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.
Subsequently, Poland and Uganda were also inaugurated as the 80th and 82nd member countries.
None of the three countries’ membership status was opposed by any member country as each was ratified by a unanimous decision.
Ghana, thus, becomes the 8th and the 1st West African country to join WorldSkills International to enable it to compete for honours in skills competitions organized by the skills profile-raising institution at the global level.
The event heralded the 45th WorldSkills Competition which opens on Thursday, August 22, 2019, at the Kazan Arena Stadium.
The outgoing President of WorldSkills International, Simon Bartley, in his report welcomed the three countries into the WorldSkills family and wished them well.
He urged the General Assembly to strive hard and bring onboard more African countries since their membership is too low considering the growing population in the continent which is projected to be two billion in the next twenty years and the limited number of job opportunities available.
“I’m looking forward to having more than half of African countries join WorldSkills International”, he noted.
He said he was in touch with ten more African countries including Nigeria, which is the biggest economy in Africa, as well as thirteen other countries in the around the world to join WorldSkills International.
Prior to the inauguration, each of the three countries mounted the podium and told the rest of the world their commitments to helping shape the future of Technical Vocational Education and Training in their respective countries.
The Executive Director of the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training, Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah, who is the Official Delegate of Ghana’s delegation to the WorldSkills Kazan Expo, 2019, outlined the country’ five-year strategic plan which began in 2018.
He took the General Assembly through the policy objectives of the five-year development in the areas of governance and management, quality, access, funding and environmental sustainability of TVET.
“The five-year strategic plan – government is putting all the support in – re-aligning the TVET to the Ministry of Education is ongoing, the bill is in Parliament and we believe our Honourable Parliamentarians will approve it by the end of the year. We’ve done our skills-gap analysis, infrastructure is being put into our institutions, competence-based training which is linked with industry is being worked, we’ve got a lot of institutions accredited, then also as well as linking or allowing the industries to lead TVET is ongoing and also establishment of center-skills bodies where the industry leads and decide the training is ongoing. We are starting with construction, tourism and hospitality, agriculture – we’ll be following it with logistics and ICT”, he noted.
He expressed the belief that the successful implementation of the five-year strategic plan will make Technical Vocational Education and Training very robust and competitive worldwide, stressing that “we don’t want to have a Ghana standard but a world standard that can make it competitive”.
The leader of Ghana’s delegation to the WorldSkills Kazan Expo, Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical Vocational Education and Training, Hon. Gifty Twum-Ampofo, told the media on the sidelines of the event how Ghana’s participation in WorldSkills competitions will help turnaround the future of Technical Vocational Education and Training.
“We keep saying that we have the skilled men and women in Ghana but they are not very competitive. So, we got involved in this WorldSkills Competition to ensure that our TVET graduates and instructors will know that we are not just taking them through TVET for the sake of the country but taking them through TVET to be competitive worldwide because the whole world is a global village now. This is drumming down the interest of the Government of the day to ensure that wherever there is a TVET competition or a product of TVET is needed, Ghanaians will also be competitive”, she underscored.
The Board Chairman of COTVET, Mr. Francis Awuah Kyerematen, on his part appealed to industries to support TVET in Ghana through sponsorships like what goes on in other jurisdictions around the world.