Government yesterday said in Accra that it would soon introduce a free one-year apprenticeship programme for the training of an average of 160,000 Junior High School graduates who failed to gain admission into the Senior High School annually.
'They are to be equipped with competency-based skills in addition to numeric and entrepreneurial skills training to prepare them adequately for either wage or self employment', Nana Akomea, Minister for Manpower, Youth and Employment said at the launching of the revised National Clerical Training Council (NCTC) Secretarial and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) examination syllabi by the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI).
Nana Akomea said another aspect of the training would focus on instructional staff and master craftsmanship that would enhance their capacities to deliver quality skills to the youth.
He added that trainees would be assessed at the end of the programme and successful ones would be awarded certificates.
Nana Akomea in a speech read for him said with the advent of Information and Communication Technology secretarial duties must meet the challenges of fast growing technology.
'Presently, ICT is used to record and store information but one requires a good and efficient secretary to retrieve and translate all recordings, edit all recorded minutes at board meetings and rephrase sentences and ideas to provide accuracy,' he added. He therefore called for the regular upgrading of secretarial skills.
Mr Stephen Amponsah, Director of National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) said about 7,000 candidates were registered annually for the secretarial and ICT examinations.
He said the introduction of the Council for Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training (COVET) programme would provide the opportunity for graduates of the institute to enter into tertiary institutions and pursue higher academic qualifications.
Mr Godwin Sowah, Chairman of the examinations Sub-Committee of the National Clerical Training Council said the syllabi was revised by a team of experts from the office of the Head of the Civil Service, Ministry of Education, Ghana Employers Association, National Association of Secretarial training institutions, and the National Vocational Training Institute.
Mr Sowah said the team reviewed syllabi in four subject areas which were type writing, Shorthand, Office Procedure and English language to bring the examinations in line with what is currently being used in most professional examinations worldwide.
He said the team made recommendations, including
the replacement of manual typewriters with computers as well as the inclusion of business Law, Economics, Accounting, French, Office administration and data processing into the subject areas.