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04.08.2018 Regional News

Takoradi: 12 Welders Benefit From Skill Training Project

Takoradi: 12 Welders Benefit From Skill Training Project
LISTEN AUG 4, 2018

A three- week training for 12 welders from Takoradi Kokompe, a local artisanal garage enclave has opened at the Takoradi Technical Institute.

The programme, which would upgrade the skills of the artisans towards meeting industry preferred standards, would run from 23 July to 17 August 2018.

The local artisans are being sponsored by Greenline Logistics Ltd, an oil sector service provider, as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, and training is facilitated by the Western Region Coastal Foundation's (WRCF).

The Corporate Social Investment - Skills Programme (CSI-SP), is a 20-day innovative and pioneering TVET programme that WRCF had designed for companies interested in making skills development a corporate social responsibility project, in order to bridge the skills gap among skilled workers or artisans in their host communities and beyond.

Mr Oswald Felli, the Communications Manager for the WRCF, said the programme could also be customized to suit many other levels and to align with the needs of companies.

He said the TVET sector was an untapped avenue for job creation and could offer self-employment to the teeming youths, adding, 'Unfortunately, due to the neglect of this very important sector, many young unemployed Ghanaians and students find it unattractive, and would rather opt and compete for the limited white collar jobs available.'

Mr Felli said the neglect of TVET had contributed to the low levels of participation in the local content of the oil and gas sector, where few Ghanaians have technical jobs after 11 years of oil discovery.

The CSI Skills Programme would take the selected Kokompe welders through basic welding theory and practical training lessons in basic shield and metal arc welding (SMAW), basic gas metal arc welding (GMAW), basic oyx-fuel cutting, and introduction to gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).

The Communication Manager said the goal of the training was to build a solid foundation to prepare artisans for more advanced training in welding that met industry requirements.

Mr Ron Nickel of CPI Training, the Welding Instructor for the Skills Programme, said most Ghanaian welders especially the kokompe artisans only worked with the 6013 welding electrode, which was outdated and not an industry approved electrode.

'The WRCF seeded Technical Centre of Excellence is exposing them to current electrodes like the 7018'… this is a competency based training programme, a trainee will only pass and move on to the next level if they pass the basics,' he added.

Mrs Soraya Anglow, CEO of Greenline Logistics Limited said the company would empower more people to participate in the local content requirements of industry, 'We think improving the skills of local artisans can make them more attractive for direct employment or service delivery in the extractives industry.'

'This training and skills upgrade will provide the basics needed to assist the artisans and make them more ready for the available jobs in the industry…We have had situations where our artisans in the metropolitan area have been denied employment because they lacked the skills necessary to make them 'employable' in the Mining and Oil and Gas sector both in Ghana and other parts of the world, especially in the West African sub-region, she added.

Mr Matthew Armah, CEO of the Western Region Coastal Foundation, said there was an urgent need to create an environment that promoted public-private collaboration in the TVET space to strengthened institutional frameworks for our technical institutes, and enhance current skills set, a pre-requisite for achieving local content targets set by oil and gas industry regulators.

'WRCF believes this innovative corporate social investment skills programme, serves as a step in the right direction in contributing purposefully to the President's goal to make Ghana a hub for skills development and TVET delivery in Africa. Our focus is to use dialogue to improve the relevance of training to industry, and identify improvements to bridge the gap between the supply of skills and demand for skilled workers.'

The skills development programme provides the Kokompe welders access to world class laboratories that house state of the art welding equipment donated to Takoradi Technical Institute by the World Bank, through the Ministry of Energy's Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (OGCBP).

By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA

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