More than 500 learners from the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ATVET)’s Competency-Based Training (CBT) have received capacity building in the Oil Palm Value Chain.

The six-month training was run at five different agricultural training institutions throughout Ghana, focusing on specific training modules for occupations along the oil palm value chain.

The modules are Nursery Establishment, Land Preparation and Plantation Establishment, Farm Management, Harvesting and Agribusiness Management.

The 591 learners were awarded a certificate of completion at the graduation ceremony organised by Solidaridad West Africa in Bunso in the Eastern Region.

The project was in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH’s Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI) Project, and the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES).

The ATVET Programme is co-funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the German government.

Detlev Axel Jahn, the Head of the Programme for Sustainable Economic Development, said the German Government remained committed to supporting the activities of the TVET sector in Ghana.

He said the sector was one of the surest ways to attain the financial and economic independence that the young people were striving for.

Mr Jahn urged all stakeholders in the TVET sector to continue to support the efforts of both the Ghanaian Government and its development partners to make TVET an attractive field for the youth.

“Providing demand-driven training to job-seeking youth, apprentices, workers, and others, builds a confident and job-ready workforce that makes them attractive to the industry, both as skilled employees and highly engaged entrepreneurs,” he added.

Nicholas Issaka Gbana, Programme Manager, Solidaridad West Africa, said the programme was under the nationally accredited curriculum of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education Training (CTVET).
He said in the first quarter of 2021, Solidaridad with its partner schools, UCAES in the Eastern region, Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture in the Ashanti region and Asuansi Technical Institute in the Central region, trained 506 learners in four out of six competencies of the oil palm curriculum.

Other partner schools are Father Dogli Memorial Technical and Vocational Institute in the Oti region and Kpando Technical Institute in the Volta region.

The oil palm curriculum had Nursery Establishment, Land Preparation and Plantation Establishment, Harvesting, Agribusiness Management (Oil Palm)

He said based on that initial work, GIZ decided to provide an additional amount of 847,615 Euros to complete the training in the two outstanding competencies, that was Farm Management, and Processing and Quality Assurance.
Mr Gbana said for some of those learners that graduated in March 2021; and train an entirely new batch of learners in selected competencies.

He said the current graduation comprised 237 of the old batch of learners, who have completed all the six competences under the National Certificate 1 and 2.

He said 171 new batch of learners have completed the processing and agribusiness competencies, with 183 new batch of learners completing the farm management and agribusiness competencies.

“Present at today’s graduation ceremonies are the learners from UCAES and KITA,” he said.
He said the goal for the training was to support the learners to find work in the oil palm sector.
Mr Gbana said in March 2022, Solidaridad conducted a sample survey of the 506 learners that graduated last year, and they discovered that 36 per cent had found jobs in the oil palm sector as entrepreneurs or third-party employees, while 16 per cent had found jobs outside the oil palm sector.

He said they would continue to work with the schools and the Technical Examinations Unit of CTVET to conduct the external verification for this year’s training.

As part of the training, the learners underwent practical training sessions at selected agricultural enterprises, such as Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC), Volpalm and Volta Red, among others, through workplace experience learning.

WEL is an integral component of CBT training, aiming at equipping young people with practical skills and competences that are in-demand by the industry to facilitate their transition into employment.