Barring any unforeseeable challenges, Ghana will in August 2019 become a member of WorldSkills International, the global hub of skills that raises the profile and recognition of skilled people through competitions, and show how important skills are in achieving economic growth.
The 80-membership group will welcome the West African country as the 81st nation of the global skills community, helping it to provide the best global benchmark for its vocational systems.
Ghana presently is at the last lap of the preparatory stages for its membership status.
At a meeting in Accra, Wednesday, May 1, 2019 the President and Chair of the Board, WorldSkills, Simon Bartley, told Ghanaian skill experts that the former British colony has only a step more to go; a step which involves the selection of officials and technical delegates and their roles and responsibilities that will be expected of them at WorldSkills International General Assembly meetings.
“Ghana will be the youngest member, joining as an associate member and will vote during the second round at the General Assembly Meeting in Kazan, Russia, in August, 2019,” an elated Mr Bartely told the skills experts from diverse backgrounds.
The Executive Director of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah, told journalists in an interview after their engagement with Mr. Bartely that the idea of Ghana becoming a member of WorldSkills International was to follow up on what President Akufo-Addo talked about as Ghana being the centre of excellence for technical and vocational education and training.
“Our membership at the WorldSkills International will mean that we will be competing with all the youth in the world on the latest or current skills that is in the world so that we don’t just fall behind.
“The World Economic Forum talked about almost ten jobs that are going to be vanishing from the surface of the world – so being a member of WorldSkills means that Ghana will be competing not only within Ghana or Africa but competitive on the job market as far as the world is concerned,” he noted.
According to him, all documentations coupled with the TVET transformation agenda; cabinet approval for all TVET institutions to be re-aligned to one ministry; ensuring standardisation in the country’s TVET sector; the facilities that the government was putting in to support the upgrade of all TVET institutions; and the establishment of new TVET centres of excellence has made it possible for Ghana to join the WorldSkills International as a member.
“The visit of the President of WorldSkills International is also positive and we are hoping to become the 81st member of WorldSkills International and we will be the first country in the West African sub-region to be a member of the WorldSkills International competition and also the seventh in Africa to be a member of WorldSkills.”
He added: “So, it is a good thing to be a member; it is a good day in Ghana and we are grateful to the government for new things that we are doing. We believe that our membership to the WorldSkills competition within the next ten years, should be able to change the face of skills development in the country. The government is doing so much and this thing that the government has accepted and embraced is good for our country and we must encourage it”.
The Group CEO FC Beauty College, Grace Amey-Obeng, commenting on the move initiated by the country said their experiences at the zonal, national and international levels, especially the competition in Kigali, Rwanda, where a student of FC Beauty College won silver in hairdressing and beauty therapy, gave the country a lot of hope and also confirmed that “we are on the right track” to joining WorldSkills International.
She was confident that Ghana competing at WorldSkills International will help bring it up to global standard, stressing that “Ghana joining will change of the face of TVET because hitherto, we assume that technical and vocational education is for school drop outs.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU