In recent times, Ghana government agencies and several civil society organizations (CSOs) are providing opportunities in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for the youth, un-employed persons as well as upskilling artisans.
Institutions such as the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), DANIDA, GIZ, UK aid, Christian aid and EU are at the forefront in promoting TVET towards creating employment opportunities and providing economic activity platforms for good quality of life for Ghanaians in a sustainable manner.
Such skills training interventions being promoted by government agencies and CSOs are relevant to Ghana's development and industrialization. However, it would be prudent and rewarding for persons who undergo such skills training programs be given high quality start-up kits to usher them into their various professions and boost their motivation, confidence, expertise, productivity and competitiveness.
The National Youth Authority (NYA), under its Steps Towards Employment and Productivity (STEP) program for 2019 also seem to address youth un-employment issues that are critical to the national development of Ghana. On the 21st December 2018, an interview was granted to the CEO of NYA by ASEMPA FM on the "EKOSIISEN Program".
The submission of the CEO of NYA was emphatic, meaning that the NYA is committed in providing skills training to the youth and un-employed persons in professional trade areas such as welding and fabrication, bakery, mobile phones repairs, ICT, etc. The CEO of NYA further indicated that start-up kits will be given to trained persons to assist them commence self-employment activities to drive economic prospects in a sustainable manner.
The presentation made by the NYA executive, also reported in the Ghanaian Times newspaper (3.1.2019), illustrates a strategic intervention to promote development of local content while creating jobs in TVET professions. This move ties-in with Ghana government initiative to create jobs for the youth and the un-employed. A laudable submission made by the NYA executive was the initiative to give portable welding machines and equipment to trainees after completion of their training program in welding and fabrication.
In order to achieve excellence in TVET in the field of welding and fabrication, it is imperative to use welding machines and equipment that comply with international standards such as ISO 9001 quality standard, ISO 14001 environmental standard, CE/ANSI certification and ISO 3834-2 certification. Health, safety and environmental related issues of welding machines and equipment are vital when considering TVET and training for manufacturing and production purposes. In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) also remain as essential part of welding and fabrication. Having welding machines and equipment which meet internationally agreed standards for TVET in welding and fabrication edifies the image of the welding trade, thus making welding attractive as a life-long profession.
The whole aspect of welding cannot be overlooked since it is involved in about 50-60% of economic activities of a nation. Countries such as Finland, Germany, UK, USA, etc. are benefiting immensely from the application of welding technology.
Case study: high-quality welding machines as start-up kits
GYASON Technoengineering limited in its quest to engage in skills training across the metal industry of Ghana serves as catalyst for "active citizenship training," by creating awareness of the need for high-quality and digitized welding machines for welding training and metal manufacturing and production jobs in diverse industrial sectors (agriculture machinery, oil and gas, mining, shipbuilding, etc.). Being indigenously Ghanaian organization, GYASON operates on social entrepreneurial principles.
The organization has been performing basic welding demonstration activities and sensitization in some technical and vocational institutions in Accra and in workshops of master craft welders. GYASON's objective is to make the job of welding attractive to new and existing welding professionals, especially females, by providing durable, energy efficient, super portable and mobile welding machines and equipment (e.g. KEMPPI welding machine brand made in Finland and prominent in Germany- KEMPPI GmbH).
Being able to weld all types of electrode, the single-phase little giants of KEMPPI welding machines are suitable for steel, aluminum and stainless-steel structural applications in agriculture, shipbuilding, metal workshops, construction industry, repair and maintenance, etc.
The social welding activities GYASON offer to Ghana metal industry promotes COTVET's and CSO's tailored programs as a shared responsibility in TVET, especially in the field of metal joining (welding and fabrication). In extending GYASON's reach in supply and distribution of welding machines and equipment, new sub-dealer ventures could be created, thus complementing Ghana government job creation initiative. Using high-quality welding machines and equipment shall contribute in achieving Ghana government's initiative to industrialize anchor industries such as Agro processing, integrated aluminum industry, iron and steel industry, and manufacturing of machines and machinery components.
About 1000 jobs could be created in economic areas such as welding machines/equipment supply, materials/consumables supply and handling, welding education and training as well as welding end users' group. On the other hand, equipping government technical and vocational institutions, existing businesses and new businesses that are yet to be created with high-quality welding machines and equipment will also broaden the net of setting up welding and fabrication factories in most districts (complementing the 1D1F initiative), especially for competency-based training purposes in-line with metal manufacturing and production jobs.