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Regional News Tue, 10 Nov 2009

Volta Region to train craftsmen

Ho, Nov 10, GNA - A novelty re-education package intended to re-orient the hordes of skills-deficient artisans in the Volta Region into efficient and shrewd workmen and women begins in Ho in January next year. It is under the auspices of the Ghana Institute of Leadership Studies (GILDS) with support from the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI). Mr Vincent Darkey-Mensah, Director of the GILDS, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Tuesday that the programme was expected to produce guilds of various crafts with the capacity to meet demands of consumers. He said the "skills addition" concept would link up craftsmen and women with the capacity for higher training to advanced training institutions while re-orienting others for a more businesslike posture. Mr Darkey-Mensah said besides the NVTI prepared syllabi in English, Mathematics and Entrepreneurial skills leading to the Foundations Examinations of the NVTI, the skills of the artisans would be improved to enable them stay in competition.

He said artisans including dressmakers lacked the groundings to support their work and therefore hardly able to produce to meet standards. Mr Darkey-Mensah said many dressmakers, for example, were unable to make dresses to fit clients and had bad finishing skills. Mr Samuel Kwawukumey, GILDS Deputy Director in charge of programmes, said a course module had been prepared to improve skills of drivers. They would be taught etiquette, basic traffic regulations, customer service among others.

Mr Kwawukumey said other stakeholders such as mechanics and vulcanizers would be brought on board to enable them to also improve skills in managing their businesses and providing quality services. He said special courses had been designed for formal sector drivers who would be taught report writing, vehicle maintenance, comportment and technical experts from the institutions such as technical schools and polytechnics would be used as resource persons. Mr Anthony Kuevi, NVTI Volta Regional Coordinator, said the institute's involvement would give opportunities to craftsmen and women to acquire standardization certificates.

He called for the regulation of apprenticeships programmes in the country to bring uniformity in skills acquisition modules. Mr Kuevi said currently it was sometime like "every master craftsman for himself" to the extent that some learners were virtually slaves to their masters and mistresses.

Source: GNA