Academia has been called upon to build strong synergies with industry to eliminate the mismatch between training and skills needed in the labour market.
The call came from the Executive Director of Workforce Development International, a private consultancy firm in Accra, at the 22nd graduation /induction ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Administrators and Management Consultants - Ghana (CIAMC) in Accra at the weekend.
According to Dr Daniel Baffour-Awuah, the lack of strong collaboration between academia and industry has contributed to the high unemployment in the country.
That, he said, was because the academia could not produce graduates with skills needed by industry and could not tell academia the skills they needed.
The programme was on the theme "Reshaping education: Aligning assessment with curriculum and delivery and the role of professionals in reshaping the process of education."
The graduands and inductees included 56 Chartered Professional Administrators and Chartered Management Consultants, four Chartered Professional Administrators, 49 Chartered Management Consultants and 16 graduate members.
Dr Baffour-Awuah said there was the need to shift attention on skills training, technical and vocational education to build the critical technical manpower needed for the development of the country.
He said there was poor perception about technical and vocational education, saying "People think if you are not academically good that is where you should go. On our side we believe that is not so. We need positive perception about technical and vocational education and also put premium on them."
He said the return on skills education was high, adding that technical and vocational education was expensive and governance and industry must support technical and vocational education.
Dr Baffour-Awuah called on parents to encourage their children to pursue technical and vocational education, saying the 21st century was a century for people with technical and vocational skills.
He said skills acquisition was open to all and even people with existing jobs and in various professions could acquire skills.
The Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Mrs Rita Dickson, commended CIAMC for the role it was playing to train administrators and consultants for the country.
She encouraged the institute to find innovative means to rope in more people for the training.
Prof. Dickson said the programmes would provide the trainees with the right skills, attitude and knowledge to improve their work.
The Chief Executive Officer of CIAMC, Samuel Mawusi Asafo, said the programmes were aimed at reskilling people who were already in very senior positions at their various places of work.
He said the vision of CIAMC was to have at least one professional administrator among top management of every major institution in the country to promote professionalism in the study and practice of administration and management consultancy within the West African sub-region.
Mr Asafo disclosed that CIAMC was extending the fast-track professional licensing programme from the regional centres of the 16 regions of Ghana to the district centres.
Ehunabobrim Prah Agyensaim VI, the Paramount Chief of Assin Kushea Traditional Area and Board Chairman of CIAMC,entreated administrators and consultants to be objective, and not allow their personal opinions to influence projects they oversee.