John Dramani Mahama
There will be free technical and vocational training for all who wish to acquire technical and vocational skills under the new NDC-administration, Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has promised.
Reiterating the focus of his party on the creation of jobs for the youth, Mr Mahama noted that the NDC under his administration will engage the youth and put them into beneficiary service of their choice, till they acquire a skill that can create jobs for them.
Then NDC flag bearer was speaking during his tour of the Volta Region on Tuesday, 18 August 2020.
“We have a programme called the National Apprentice Programme. When you go to our major cities, you see young people by the street side selling little things, like MTN cards, they’re selling chewing gum, toffees and other things. If you ask most of them, why are you by the roadside selling, he says, oh I want to sell so that I can raise some money to go and learn a trade, that is to become an apprentice.
“So in our manifesto, what we’re saying is we’ll register these young people who want to learn a trade so that instead of them selling these little, little, things to raise capital and go as an apprentice to learn a trade, the government will get you the master craftsmen if you’re a mechanic or you’re a dressmaker or you’re a beautician and you have your salon, it is of good standard, government will come and pay you, and we’ll bring the apprentices to you and you’ll train them,” Mr Mahama said.
Mr Mahama also revealed that under his leadership his government will cover the costs of the apprenticeship fee “so that they don’t have to go and sell items by the roadside to come and pay the apprenticeship fee. We’ll pay you the apprenticeship fee and we’ll send them to you, and you’ll train them. And while you’re training them, we’ll give them a little allowance so that they can be taking transport home and coming back to learn the trade. So when they qualify, you’ll give them their certificates and if it is beauticians, we’ll find them hair dryers, some rollers and combs and they’ll also go start their own trade. If they’re mechanics we’ll give them a toolbox, they’ll also go and find their corner and start repairing vehicles.
“Whatever trade it is, when they leave, we’ll give them the tools and the equipment to be able to do what they have to do. We’re going to make training under technical and vocational education free from the lowest standard to the highest standard. So, there’ll be free technical and vocational education and training. We’re going to open TVECH training centres in every district and the children will go there and learn a trade free of charge. And if they want to continue, they’ll go into technical institutes and then from technical institutes they can continue into technical university and qualify as BTECH, as Auto mechanic, as HND whatever qualification they can get free of charge.”
The former President referring to countries like Germany, indicated that more attention needs to be paid to technical and vocational education.
“It’s not the secondary school grammar kind of education that will help us. What has made countries like Germany great is that most of their people are technical, vocationally trained and so you find that they have a lot of middle-level technicians and that is what has made Germany, Germany. They are able to open their own businesses and do their works. If we continue to push all our children through secondary school without putting some of them through technical and vocational education, we’ll be creating a lopsided economy because when you need crane operators, you can’t find them. You need bulldozer operators you can’t find them, you need master welders, you can’t find them, you need master technicians, you can’t find them and yet if you’re looking for the other professions, you’re looking for marketing professionals plenty of them, you can’t even find jobs for them and so we need to tilt the system a bit so that we get more of our children to go through technical and vocational training and be able to find jobs when they come out of school.”