The National Vocational Technical Institute in Kumasi (NVTI) is to set up a graduate co-operative system for its students.
It is intended to encourage trained personnel of diverse disciplines to form businesses on completion of school.
Manager of the Institute, Richard Addo Gyamfi, is optimistic the initiative will address challenges associated with entrepreneurs venturing single-handedly into businesses.
He was speaking at an entrepreneurship seminar held for final-year students.
The seminar was meant to expose students to easy ways to start and sustain their business.
“To organise Graduate Co-operative System, we are trying to put about five students together, to start their business because establishing a business in Ghana as individual at this level, sometimes the majority of them find it very difficult.
“We will bring them together, like those who learnt the light duty or heavy duty, help them with capacity building and help them establish their own businesses. Coming next year, we are going to start this concept,” he said.
The initiative, according to him, is important for the students to know and understand that vocational training is about creating jobs.
One of the ways to measure the success of any training programme, according to Mr. Addo Gyamfi, is the ease with which graduates of that programme find jobs.
He says the co-operatives will be monitored for optimal results.
"We also identified successful entrepreneurs then we assign them to the graduate as mentors to monitor their progress and help them develop their businesses," he said.
Students at the seminar also interacted with some successful business operators.
One of the speakers, Winifred Koranteng Darkwa, said vocational and technical training is critical.
“Most often we regard them as not intellectually good, all we do is that we are so much into our books and we don’t value them but there is a need to value them
She is, however, worried, “sometimes they also rush too much to start on their own and most often it fails. I think students must take their time and plan properly before starting a business”.
Head of Business Advisory Centre at the regional office of the National Board for Small Scale Industries, Micheal Golightly, says students have no choice but to explore business start-up in the face of growing unemployment.
“The issue has become very critical in the sense that there is a lot of graduate unemployment in the system, so it is wise and prudent for finishing students to start their own businesses,” said Mr Golightly.
According to him, per their training, it is possible and workable to start an SME.
“Once you acquire a skill, whether management, vocational or technical, it is easy to start something. Entrepreneurship today is more critical than ever,” he adds.
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