The visiting Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mr Alderman John Stuttart, on Wednesday launched two initiatives aimed at improving education in Ghana.
The first, known as the Education, Training and Qualifications (ETQ) initiative, seeks to make available to Ghanaians the professional skills that have made London the world's leading international finance and business centre, while the other, the England-Africa Partnership Project (EAPP), aims at setting up career services at higher education institutions for Ghanaian graduates.
More specifically, the ETQ aims at providing training for Ghanaians through a United Kingdom (UK) provider or offering them on-the-job training for a period in Ghana.
It involves 50 UK professional institutes, key university business schools and training providers that offer post-graduate and professional qualifications in financial, maritime and business services.
The training covers 13 sectors, namely Accountancy, Actuarial Science, Asset Management, Banking, Dispute Resolution, English for Financial Services, Financial Trading, Insurance, Law, Management, Marketing, Property and Shipping.
The EAPP, which is a partnership project between the University of Ghana, Legon, and the University of East London, is aimed at developing the career skills of young graduates at the University of Ghana.
It is being funded by the British Department of Education and Skills. The one-year project would help the University of Ghana to develop an on-campus university-based career service, which would be a centre of international excellence that could be replicated at other higher education institutions in Ghana to the benefit of Ghanaian industries and aspiring professionals in all sectors of the economy.
Mr Stuttart said professional skills that were hallmarked “Made in the UK” were very valuable to aspiring young people around the world because they offered a career boost that was hard to beat and were a passport to success in the growing financial sector.
He said in terms of distance learning for professional qualifications, Ghana was already an important market for the UK, adding that like the UK, Ghana recognised the value of professional qualifications and business training, both as a personal springboard to future success and for the skills set in the wider economy as a whole.
Giving examples, Mr Stuttard said more than 28,000 course subjects, leading to examinations for UK-based professional qualifications, were undertaken each year in Ghana by 12,000 students, and added that Ghana was the third largest global market for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK qualifications and was also in the top 10 largest markets for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) globally.
As regards the EAPP, Mr Stuttard said by working together, the two institutions could learn from each other.
The Dean of Students of the University of Ghana, Dr Bruce Banoeng Yakubu, said the university had a population of 28,000 with 7,000 graduating every year.
He said a counselling centre existed currently but could train only 120 people, adding that that was inadequate when compared to the number that graduated every year.
He said with the support, the centre would be able to train young men and women who would be equal to the task of developing the career skills of students who came out every year.
Story by Mark-Anthony Vinorkor