AU, ILO workshop to close skills gap for green jobs underway in Ghana

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Business & Finance AU, ILO workshop to close skills gap for green jobs underway in Ghana
SEP 28, 2022 LISTEN

A week-long workshop is underway in Akosombo to equip various sector leaders with the knowledge that will close the skills gap for green jobs toward preserving and restoring the environment.

In an effort to ensure that Africans lead the development of the continent, the African Union (AU) is conducting a skills anticipation for green jobs training.

The Union, through its Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA), with support from the ILO is seeking to equip technical and vocational institutions to train the youth to take up environmentally friendly employment.

Delivering an address to open the workshop on Monday, September 26, 2022, the Country Director of ILO Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala said she is happy to be participating in this all-important session that seeks to strengthen the capacities of ILO constituents in Skills Anticipation for Green Jobs.

She said the training is yet another success story of effective collaboration among ILO projects in the Africa region.

According to her, the 5-day workshop will serve as a catalyst for enhancing the effective systematic mechanisms for integrating greening integrate greening into the TVET system, while moving beyond the update and development of new curricula in our respective countries.

“It is my hope that the outcome of this workshop will strengthen our abilities to develop institutional frameworks that facilitate the greening agenda for a sustainable development,” Vanessa Phala shared in her address.

The Country Director of the ILO Office for Ghana added, “I further pledge the continued support of the ILO in pursuit of this noble dream of strengthening the TVET skills system with the view to promoting decent work and social justice.”

Speaking to the media on the opening day of the workshop, Chief Technical Advisor for Skills Initiative for Africa Project, Ms. Naomy Lintini noted that her outfit is in Ghana because they want to continue with their capacity building of African Union member states in the area of Skills Anticipation.

Chief Technical Advisor for Skills Initiative for Africa Project, Ms. Naomy LintiniChief Technical Advisor for Skills Initiative for Africa Project, Ms. Naomy Lintini

According to her, now more than ever, the economies of the world are being pushed by circumstances such as climate change and there is the need to be greener as well as sustainable so to speak.

“So we are saying that the journey of the future are going to require competencies for people to deal with this issues of the green economy and if we want to prepare the future labour force for those jobs of the future then we need to first of all build capacity for anticipating skills for the green economy. Once we identify the skills then we can adjust the career curriculum so that it builds the capacities of people,” Ms. Naomy Lintini told journalists.

She further indicated that through these capacity-building workshops, a balance is going to be created such that students who graduate can find jobs in the labour market in the future.

Ms. Naomy Lintini insists that this will reduce the mismatch so that there won’t be a situation where a lot of people complain about not finding jobs after graduating.

On his part, Deputy Director in charge of Standards, Curricular Development and Enforcement at the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education Training (CTVET), Mr. Theophilus Tetteh Zogblah assured that the concept of greening is something that has come to stay.

He stressed that there is a need for environmental sustainability and ensuring that whatever is done by the way of work is done across the various sectors while being conscious of the environment.

Deputy Director in charge of Standards, Curricular Development and Enforcement at CTVET, Mr. Theophilus Tetteh ZogblahDeputy Director in charge of Standards, Curricular Development and Enforcement at CTVET, Mr. Theophilus Tetteh Zogblah

While admitting that Ghana is not up there when it comes to skill sets for green jobs in the country, Mr. Theophilus Tetteh Zogblah emphasised that it is the reason why the commission is taking the capacity-building workshop very seriously.

“In terms of skill set for green jobs in Ghana we are really now catching up with it seriously and that is why we are organising this workshop so that we will give some capacity building to the various industry stakeholders so that they understand what is required to develop more green-oriented skill jobs across the various sectors.

“It is for this reason that we want to build the capacities of some 12 Sector Skills Bodies we have established,” the CTVET Deputy Director in charge of Standards, Curricular development and Enforcement told journalists.

Mr. Theophilus Tetteh Zogblah concluded, “The issue is that we are bringing stakeholders across these sectors on board so we could give them capacity in what is required for the emerging green jobs so that they can also propagate this gospel and also provide this kind of training to other members so that everybody will be conscious and aware. What is important is the awareness creation of green jobs and that should be the role of several sectors in ensuring that these ideas of green jobs really manifest across the sectors.”

Mr. Adetor Frank Kwasi, the National Project Coordinator of SKILL UP Ghana Project noted that the 5-day session aims to strengthen the capacities of ILO/SIFA Project staff from Eswatini, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe in addition to selected members of the 12 established Sector Skills Bodies in Ghana.

National Project Coordinator of SKILL UP Ghana Project, Mr. Adetor FrankNational Project Coordinator of SKILL UP Ghana Project, Mr. Adetor Frank

“The session provides the platform for the participants to learn and exchange ideas and experiences from their respective countries” Mr. Adetor noted.

About the Skills Anticipation for Green Jobs Capacity Building

The Skills Anticipation component interventions aim to enhance the capacity of public and private institutions and key stakeholders in AUC Member States to effectively apply knowledge, technical skills, strategies and instruments to address the challenge of mismatch and imbalance of skills demand and supply across the African Continent.

It is an established fact that countries that have succeeded in linking skills to productivity gains, increased employment and enhanced development have targeted skills development policies towards matching supply to demand for skills. Experience has also shown that building and sustaining competencies for future labour market needs and helping workers and enterprises adjust to changes in the labour market requires stronger skills anticipation and matching capacities and systems.

Against this background, the African Union (AU) has adopted a set of strategies to address the problem. Notable among them are the Agenda 2063, the African Youth Charter (2006); the Continental education strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-2025); the Continental TVET Strategy (2014); and an initiative to boost education, technology and innovation (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology.

Within this context, the Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA), a Project of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) supported by the German Government and European Union seeks to contribute toward the AU’s agenda for a more prosperous Africa. Under the EU-funded SIFA component on Skills for Youth Employability (SYEP), the AU is collaborating with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to implement Skills Anticipation capacity development interventions for the selected AU Member States.

This week’s workshop in Ghana covers broadly on all relevant sectors. It will focus on the three priority sectors for a green economy in Ghana: renewable energy, forestry, and agriculture and as identified in Ghana’s NDCs.

It will build on the existing national strategies and projects of ILO, UNESCO, and UNDP to strengthen the capacity of the major stakeholders to support continuous skills development-related measures for the transition to a sustainable economy. Among other things, this project will use pre-tertiary education as foundation to sharpen future growth and functioning towards behavioral change, transformation, and innovation that provide space for future leaders with employable skills and sustainable environmental lifestyle.

The workshop which commenced on Monday will end on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo