German-based company; KNAUF Group is poised to bridge the skills gap in Ghana's construction sector with the inauguration of a training centre.
The centre will upgrade the skills of local artisans in the construction industry with the opening of its training center in Ghana.
The new training center is expected to offer up to 800 training positions per year and is targeted at architects and civil engineers as well as craftsmen on building sites.
Training at the facility will employ a combined theoretical and practical approach, where trainees would be expected to learn how different gypsum based building materials are processed, which is a specialty of KNAUF.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, Dr Gerd Müller reiterated the importance of acquiring the necessary skills to enable the Ghanaian youth to find good jobs in the construction industry.
"The young people in Ghana need training and jobs. This is the only way that they will have any prospects in their home country. This is exactly where our training center with KNAUF comes into play. The top qualified Ghanaian professionals can then help to further build their country and to promote its development," he said.
Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry, said the long standing relationship between Ghana and Germany had been underpinned by mutual respect, trust and benefits.
He said the Germans were highly skilled and competent and therefore any initiative to transfer some of these skills to the locals was welcome.
He added that the transfer of skills and technology was important to drive the 'Ghana Beyond Aid' agenda.
A member of the KNAUF Group Management Committee, Mrs Isabel Knauf, said the company was working on expanding its footprint in Africa and it was thus positioning itself to build the local market and give opportunities to locals through training.
She said "Africa is strategically growth region for KNAUF in the coming years. The training centres are an integral part of a successful market presence. They lay the foundation for further KNAUF investments into local production facilities."
"Our training courses not only improve the quality of building in Ghana, they also create jobs for Ghanaians. By replacing expensive foreign labor with local craftsmen, modern building methods become more affordable in Ghana," she said.
The project is being financed by KNAUF and co-financed by DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, with funds from the develoPPP.de programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The training centre in Ghana, with an investment volume of approximately €700,000, is part of a large-scale joint training offensive by KNAUF, DEG and the BMZ in countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. It is planned that 12,000 people will be qualified within three years under this initiative.
Established in 1932, when brothers Alfons and Karl Knauf secured the mining rights to gypsum deposits in the Schengen community (Obermosel) in Germany, the company is currently one of the world's leading manufacturers of modern insulation materials, dry lining systems, plasters and accessories, thermal insulation composite systems, paints, floor screed, floor systems, construction equipment and tools.
With 150 production facilities and sales organisations in over 86 countries, 27,500 employees worldwide, and sales of 6.5 billion Euro (in 2016), the Knauf Group is without doubt one of the big players on the market - in Europe, the USA, South America, Russia, Asia, Africa, and Australia.