Madam Dorothee Dinkelaker, the Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy, says stakeholders in the automotive sector need to enhance the skills of their workforce.
She said training of the workforce would lead to sustainable jobs for prospective young men and women in Ghana.
Madam Dinkelaker was speaking at the opening of the West African Vehicle Academy (WAVA), an automotive technical training facility in Accra.
The €1.8million facility will develop skills and knowledge of trainees and capacitates them to address the challenges of modern automotive service, diagnosis and repair.
The Academy is a not-for-profit venture of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket in Ghana, Rana Motors, and the German Development Cooperation, through its develoPPP programme.
The challenge of technical skills shortage in the automotive sector further amplified the need for technological development of the modern motor vehicle.
Madam Dinkelaker said the joint venture for the Academy was to boost Ghana’s automotive industry as a competitive sub-regional hub.
She said Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) had been at the core of German Ghanaian Cooperation for many years, providing a holistic and demand oriented TVET.
She said during the last five years, German contribution to TVET reforms was more than 50million euros.
Madam Dinkelaker said the support to the TVET sector aimed at anchoring quality and practical relevance into the Ghanaian TVET system, considering the potential of the private sector and political stakeholders working together.
The Head of Cooperation said with their support to Commission for TVET (COTVET) were enabled to role out competency-based training, improve the competences of teachers and structurally include the private sector in Workplace based learning (WEL) to ensure demand-orientation.”We also support company-driven initiatives like the West African Vehicle Academy with support schemes like the develoPPP public-private-partnership programme,” he added.
She said on the side of German Development Cooperation, “we look forward to continuing to support the sector through various programmes, and we would certainly be pleased to continue being part of this great joint venture with Bosch and Rana Motors.”
Almost 1,000 trainees have participated in the different courses already, adding up to an impressive number of more than 3.500 training days.
Mr Kassem Odamyat, the Chief Operating Officer T Rana Motors, said the drive towards the initiative was led by their strong internal belief in training and empowering the people, as well as the community at large.
He said, “we are also very much aware of the suffering of our industry with the ever-present “trial & error approach” caused by uncertified mechanics who end up wasting customers’ patience, money and time – with no satisfactory outcomes in sight.”
The COO said from the start of operations, the training capacity had been utilized by the Rana Motors service network, the Bosch Service network, as well as vocational training schools.
“We believe in an open-sourced approach to benefit teachers/instructors with our training classes material, presentations, handout and encouraging them to use it for their own trainings,” he said.
He said currently WAVA was getting support from all its sponsors but the idea was for the entity to stand on its own two feet with a strong, sustainable business model in place.
Mr Ghislain Noumbessy, the Chief Executive Officer of Robert Bosch Ghana, said Bosch had trained thousands of artisans over the past seven years of presence in Ghana and had invested directly in providing training.
He said the facility would support mechanics to acquire and upgrade their skills for modern vehicle service / diagnose and repair in Ghana and in the sub-region.
He expressed gratitude to the partners, who helped bring the project into being.