Over 200 construction artisans have benefited from a training organized by the Institute of Research, Innovation and Development (IRID) of the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) and the German Development Partners.

The training programme dubbed, “Professionalization of Artisans (ProfArts)”, is aimed at improving the employment situation of local artisans in the construction sector and related value chain. 

The training equipped participants with technical and soft skills needed for the sector. 

The project is a special Initiative under the Training and Job Creation of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

It operates under the “Invest for Jobs” brand implemented by Deutschland Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. 

Pro Vice-Chancellor of KsTU, Ing. Prof. Mike Agbesi Acheampong, indicated that the University’s mandate is to produce graduate entrepreneurs by equipping them with essential skills. 

“The mandate is to give technical education backed by practical activities. 

“We don’t believe in teaching that will give a lot of theories with no profitable component that will make an impact.

“Our desire, premised on the mandate, is to produce graduates that are job creators and not job seekers by giving them trainings that will make them entrepreneurs,” he said.

KsTU, GIZ train over 200 artisans in the construction sector

The first National forum on Employment and Employability, conclided that the country suffered a skills gap. 

It found most students who mainly went through theoretical education and not vocational or technical education ended up unemployed. 

Director of Institute of Research Innovation and Development, KsTU, Dr. Smart Sarpong called on government for the professionalization of vocational and technical disciplines. 

“It’s a very serious area that government and all stakeholders should take interest in. 

“Professionalizing the trade to be attractive to everybody and help solve unemployment issues in the country,” he said. 

Participants of the training programme included artisans with technical skills in electrical installation, glazing, masonry, metal work, painting, plumbing, steel bending, roofing and tiling. 

They were equipped with skills in technical top-up, occupational health and safety, soft and business, retooling with modern equipment, financial literacy skills and licensing under the Engineering Craftsmen Register of the Ghana Institute of Engineering.  

Meanwhile, the project seeks to equip over 2000 artisans in Ghana, comprising of 40% females and 50% youth, with professional skills. 

One of the participants, Charlotte Ofobiri, stated that she is hoping to establish her own metal work business and employ more women into the construction sector. 

“With the professional skills I’ve obtained, I am willing to train other women, which will reduce unemployment in Ghana,” she said. 

The project is also in partnership with Vodafone Ghana Ltd, Consolidated Bank Ghana,and Robert Bosch Ltd, to provide artisans with non-technical skills in digitalization, finance literacy and power tools.