GHANA SKILLS GAP SUMMIT

GHANA SKILLS GAP SUMMIT

Dreamoval Foundation in partnership with Pyxera Global, SAP, and Ghana Education Service organized Ghana’s first Skills Gap Summit with the theme ‘Bridging the Skills Gap- Creating Enabling Synergies between Industry and Academia.’ on 27th September, 2017. Over the years, an overwhelming demand for skilled graduates in different professions has become an issue governments and heads of corporations can no longer ignore. It is common to hear professionals and entrepreneurs in the working industry lament over the lack of adequate skills in graduates that are churned out of our universities. To further drive this issue, Ms Constance Swaniker, a renowned Ghanaian sculpter, in an interview with Daily Graphic, said “In most of the projects I work on, I am the only Ghanaian, most of the time they (clients) had to fly in labour because of the idea that we lack the skills. They tell you your people can’t lay things straight. Can you blame them? They have a certain standard. Our skilled labour does not think of the little innovations that make the difference. The target for these complaints, unemployed graduates, have not been silent. These individuals persistently complain about the lack of jobs and the continuous rejection they receive from companies and corporations who are reluctant about employing underskilled individuals. Most of these graduates blame their predicament on their course structures and what they studied while in school. The Ghana Employers Association largely agrees to this and recently presented an appeal to the government. Mr Francis Ahene-Affoh, the Vice President, Dreamoval Foundation, at the summit said skills gap is a major global challenge for emerging economies and the summit was aimed at creating the platform where industry players and government officials can have a place to discuss pressing issues associated with the prevalent skills gap.This according to him would not encourage vain talk but create an avenue for commitment and points of collaboration for a successful implementation and growth of the economy. Resource persons at the Summit included Dr Fred Asamoah Kyei- the Executive Director, Council of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). Mr Patrick AwuahPresident and Founder of Ashesi University, Mr. Derrydean Dadzie- Chief Doe at Dreamoval Ltd, Ms Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh- Country Director and General Manager IBM and Mr Roland Ato Quainoo- Chief Executive Officer, Run on Time Engineering. In his address to participants, Mr Patrick Awuah, the President and Founder of Ashesi University, explained that to bridge the skills gap there must be room for discipline, building rapport with industries, continuous assessment and accreditation systems to ensure the transformation of the country. He further iterated that education isn’t just about knowledge and skills but also character. Mr Olu Familusi, the Executive Director of SAP, called for the understanding of academia and businesses to ensure that challenges associated with skills development were tackled. The Skills Gap Summit was held in two sessions, the first was a presentation from the five (5) resource persons followed by a breakout session where stakeholders were engaged in discussions on the need to identify the skills gaps and how to bridge it for total transformation.

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