Equipping thousands with employability skills - Ghana ‘TVET’ Voucher Programme
Since its inception in September 2017, over 14,000 individuals including women and youth have benefited from the Ghana TVET Voucher Programme. This is one of the most significant projects in Ghana that contributes to skills development and employment for disadvantaged groups. It is a Ghanaian-German Finance Cooperation intervention, co-financed by the KfW Development Bank, and implemented by the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) of Ghana’s Ministry of Education. It is also the first bursary project under German Financial Cooperation in the education sector, that allows interested target groups within the informal sector to receive fully funded skills development in the area of technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
A second phase of the project began in November 2018 after successful completion of the first (pilot) phase, which also reached over 13,000 beneficiaries.
The second phase of the Voucher Programme was implemented in cooperation with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI III) – a GIZ Ghana-implemented initiative with co-funding support from the European Union under its Ghana Employment and Social Protection Programme, and from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs under its Ghana Private Sector Competitiveness Program.
In the Ghanaian informal sector, master craft persons and workers of small and medium enterprises usually gain their vocational skills through traditional apprenticeship.
This well-established traditional vocational training system ensures employment for over 90% of the Ghanaian workforce. However, small and medium enterprises increasingly face challenges to keep pace with technological innovations – which negatively affects their business and income perspectives. Furthermore, skills acquired through the pure traditional apprenticeship do not lead to formal qualifications recognised by the Ghanaian National Qualifications Framework. In this respect, majority of Ghanaian youth are denied advancement within the formal education system.
In response to this challenge, the Government of Ghana decided to implement a more expandable and integrated Competency-based Training (CBT) approach as an adequate response to the specific needs of the informal sector.
Consequently, the Ghana TVET Voucher Programme was designed to improve the accessibility of disadvantaged individuals to fully funded and demand-oriented technical and vocational education and training, which meets quality criteria. It is aimed at improving beneficiaries’ access to decent employment. Taking advantage of the existing traditional apprenticeship system, accredited training institutions offer both workplace training and complementary skills training as part of the CBT units; thus, individuals who participate in a full competency-based training programme receive formal qualifications at National Proficiency Levels I and II; this is certified in accordance with the National technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Qualifications Framework.
The Ghana Skills Development Initiative closely cooperated with the Ghana TVET Voucher Programme to harmonize approaches and procedures. GSDI was mandated to support the development of occupational standards, unit specifications, and corresponding materials for block laying and tiling, electrical installation and furniture works. GSDI also expanded the implementation of the programme to two additional regions (Eastern and Western Regions of Ghana).
Target beneficiaries of the programme include master craftsperson, their apprentices, and workers. The vouchers awarded to beneficiaries facilitate their access to competency-based trainings as part of the programme.
Author: Patricia Mensah
Publishing date: 14 February 2023