More than 500 youth in Kpando in the Volta Region are to undergo a competency-based training in oil palm under the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) initiative of Government.
The competency-based training developed by Solidaridad in partnership with the Ghana Skill Development Initiative, under the implementation of the second phase of its Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme (SWAPP II) training, sought to build the skills of the youth for employment and entrepreneurship in the oil palm sector.
The training is accredited by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET), the national regulator, and would be in two batches.
The initial batch of learners, drawn from oil palm-growing communities and oil palm enterprises in Ghana, would undergo the training for a ten-week period, which would involve instruction time and internship.
It is being funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra, the Swiss Government through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).
At a ceremony to officially enroll the learners, Mr Nicholas Issaka Gbana, the Programme Manager for the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme, said the competency-based training, which was under the skills for employment component of SWAPP II, would provide technical and vocational training to equip young people with employable skills for the oil palm sector.
He said: “Creating employable skills and opportunities for young people is a crucial intervention to ensure the sustainability of the oil palm sector in Ghana. When young people are empowered with the right knowledge, skills and training, they are better placed to set up businesses in the oil palm supply chain to help boost Ghana’s profile in the global palm oil production space”.
So far, five educational institutions accredited by COTVET are running the training programme to provide support in six modules including nursery establishment, land preparation, plantation establishment, harvesting, farm management, plant protection, chemical application, processing, quality assurance and agribusiness management.
Mr Joshua Dzigbah, a representative of the Kpando Municipal Directorate of Education, emphasised the need to include skills acquisition in the education curriculum as an answer to the human resource needs of industries.
He commended Solidaridad for spearheading a novel initiative and also urged the learners to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire requisite skills to strategically position themselves in Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.
In 2019, Solidaridad, under the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme, supported the partner institutions with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training accreditation.
In partnership with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative and the CoTVET, Solidaridad in 2020 provided technical upskilling training to lecturers and tutors from the five partner educational institutions on the oil palm ATVET curriculum.
The Sustainable West Africa Oil Palm Programme seeks to contribute to the transformation of the oil palm sector in West Africa, increase incomes of smallholder farmers and processors, and generate economic growth and jobs.
SWAPP II is part of Solidaridad’s global agenda to build sustainable supply chains.