The 3rd National Precision Quality Conference has encouraged stakeholders to include the concept of Precision Quality to be embedded in all industries, especially Small and Medium Scales Enterprises (SMEs).
The conference also proposed the provision of incentives for SMEs that have attained Precision Quality standards to take on young apprentices.
The Conference, which was organised by the Design and Technology Institute with support from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the National Development Planning Commission, the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and the Ghana Standard Authority, issued the “Accra Manifesto on Skills and Jobs for Africa’s Youth.”
The communique said the Conference considered the urgent need to create jobs for the youth to give effect to the Directive Principle of State Policy as enshrined in Chapter 6 of the 1992 Constitution.
It called on the government to create a conducive trade and business environment by reducing business costs for youth-led entities by subsidizing taxes and licensing fees for the first year(s) of business and mobilizing resources to develop local youth-owned industries.
It urged the government to make available a seven-year tax holiday on start-ups to youth-led businesses so long as they were micro and small enterprises, as well as provide accessible and affordable credit facilities on favourable terms including options for a loan guarantee.
On trade and industry, it called for the establishment of focused and practicable programmes to equip the youth with skills to innovate, start and manage businesses and mainstream the concept of Precision Quality in the training curriculum of all artisans and graduates in technical and traditional Universities in Ghana.
The Communique said to ensure that artisans and master crafts persons were knowledgeable about the minimum quality standards that guide their work to deliver value to industries and establish a licensing regime to ensure that artisans who practice their trade in Ghana were qualified and licensed.
It said there was the need to support employers to increase the quality of work and to reduce barriers, which currently prevent young people from gaining employment, calling on some employers to offer quality opportunities for young people to experience, explore and gain employment both in the private and public sectors.
It called for the review of the educational curriculum regularly to ensure that schools and colleges meet the needs of all pupils to enable the acquisition of skills.
It said they needed to facilitate successful transitions into employment post-education by reviewing offers in the Technical and Vocational Education Training systems and Universities to ensure that young people can make choices based on their individual needs and learning styles.
It recommended to stakeholders at the National and International levels that intergovernmental organizations, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations extend their actions to develop inter-University cooperation projects through twinning arrangements for institutions.
This should be based on solidarity and partnership, as a means of bridging the gap between rich and poor countries in the vital areas of knowledge production and application.
It said higher education institutions should envisage the creation of appropriate structures and/or mechanisms for promoting and managing international cooperation.
The African Union and its various agencies should intensify their efforts to empower the youth to work with other stakeholders on the continent and beyond to exchange knowledge and experiences, build networks and scale up collaborations.