Business News of 2014-04-05

COTVET equips Tema woodworkers with skills

A two-week workshop, intended to train woodworkers in modern techniques of carpentry and entrepreneurship to enhance productivity and income has been held in Tema with a call on the government to restrict the importation of cheap wood products into the country.

One hundred members of the Tema Wood Manufacturers Association (TEWOMA) drawn from the Tema metropolis and Ashaiman municipality attended the training, which was funded by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and facilitated by the Wood Industries Training Centre (WITC).

They were taken through various topics including design, finishing and marketing of wood.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic during the opening session of the programme, the President of TEWOMA, Mr Maxwell M. Prempeh, observed that cheap imported wood products had contributed to suppressing the local wood manufacturing sector and led to the decline of the industry.

Mr Prempeh acknowledged the potential of the local wood industry and stressed that wood products made locally were not only durable but could compete favourably with those imported.

He bemoaned the lack of technical and financial support for the sector and said the local artisans had problems with good finishing, but without good finishing, many people would not patronise their products.

He was also of the view that the products of local wood workers would be of good quality if they were given the necessary training and support.

Mr Prempeh also said it was against that backdrop of challenges, that the association approached COTVET for support.

He said the training which was funded by COTVET under the Skills Development Fund to the tune of over GH¢ 83,000, was to equip its members with modern skills that would help keep the workers abreast of the current trends in the wood industry.

Mr Prempeh expressed the hope that the training would help to enhance their output and thereby increase productivity.

The Director of the Wood Industries Training Centre, Mr Douglas Asuming, recounted that one of the major problems facing the wood industry was the drastic reduction in forest resources which served as the raw material base for the sector.

He, therefore, stressed the need for woodworkers to constantly equip themselves with modern technology to enable them add value to the limited wood products in the system.

Mr Asuming advised the participants to adopt new marketing strategies and entrepreneurship skills to enhance their businesses.

An Executive Member of TEWOMA, Mr Delali Amexo, was optimistic that the training programmes would contribute to high productivity and improve the lives of the artisans.

Mr Amexo appealed for the construction of a wood village with modern facilities for carpenters and woodworkers in Tema to provide a more secure, safe and congenial environment for the wood workers and help increase productivity.

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