Inauguration of the Agricultural, Construction and Tourism & Hospitality Sector Skills Bodies in Ghana under the ILO Skills-Up Project
Remarks by the Resident Coordinator ad interim at the Inauguration of the Agricultural, Construction and Tourism & Hospitality Sector Skills Bodies in Ghana
- Hon Ministers present at the high table,
- The Executive Director, Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training
- The General Secretary, Ghana Trades Union Congress
- The Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Employers’ Association
- Representatives of MDAs
- Representatives of the diplomatic corps, colleagues from the UN, the civil society
- Members of the Press
- Invited Guests
- Ladies and gentlemen
I am very pleased to be here this morning and join you all for this inauguration of the Agricultural, Construction, Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skills Bodies in Ghana.
I would like to commend the ILO, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, as well as all participating ministries for joining forces and succeeding in making the sector skills bodies a reality. On behalf of the ILO but also of the entire UN System in Ghana, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Governments of Germany, Norway and Switzerland as well as to the European Union and GIZ for their continuous support to Ghana’s efforts to strengthen its skills development systems in line with the country’s inclusive development aspirations.
I will not be long. We have a very substantive list of speakers, all more qualified than I am to talk aout the bodies we are inaugurating today but allow me to say a few words about the strategic importance of the initiative that is being launched.
Honorable ministers, Ladies and gentlemen,
It is well known that many countries in the world including Ghana are experiencing a persistent gap between the skills needed in their labour markets and those offered by the existing workforce. But let us be very clear that skills mismatching leads to waste and underutilization of human capital, underperformance for businesses andthe local economy as well as slower development for societies. Ghana simply cannot afford this.
In order to effectively address the skills anticipation challenge, however, labour market actors need to come together to identify and prepare to meet future skills needs. This should be a whole of society effort grounded in a social partnership where training providers, policy-makers, employers, workers but also young people and I would like to emphasize the need to fully include the youth, young men and women - all these actors should come together to make better educational and training choices that are directly responsive to the current and projected needs of the Ghanaian labour market.
Honorable ministers, Ladies and gentlemen,
We talk more and more these days of the demographic dividend and the potential benefits for Africa. To realize this, we all know that we need to invest in health and education but those investments will be futile if we have an healthy and educated youth that is not meaningfully engaged in decent work. Currently, the high rate of secondary cycle qualified but unemployed youth in Ghana suggests ta significant mismatch between the skills that students are being taught and what employers are looking for.
In addition, it is well known that youthful energy needs to be expanded and if it is not in employment, other outlets which should be a concern for all of us, could come into play.
Finally, efforts to develop domestic industries and various key sectors in Ghana, will simply not materialize, if we do not rise up to the challenge of feeding them the right skilled workforce that they need.
The Sector Skills Bodies have the potential to ensure that Ghana’s Technical Vocational Education and Training system responds effectively to the differing needs of employers, however, their success will depend on the commitment of all partners and stakeholders.
So let me stop here by inviting all partners to press forward beyond the inauguration to ensure that we do not prepare our youth for the jobs of today but that we invest in making them ready for the jobs of tomorrow both in Ghana and globally and that we ensure that technological and environmental opportunities but also challenges are fully integrated into our vision.
I thank you very much for your attention and take this opportunity to congratulate the ILO as it marks its centenary anniversary throughout the world this year.