By KwaminaTandoh/Mercy Manukure, GNA
Accra, July 24, GNA - The Accra Technical University (ATU) has launched its maiden Virtual Internship Programme (VIP) aimed at preparing over 500 students of the institution to acquire relevant industrial practical skills on campus.
The four-week internship would reduce the frustration of students who have had difficulties in getting internship placement in industries.
The programme would also be held during the long vacation where companies would go to the campus to operate their virtual offices to help introduce students to practical training operations of industry and the real job market.
The launch attracted a large number of students of ATU, industry players and delegations from the Cape Coast Technical University, Sunyani Technical University and Takoradi Technical University to under study the module of the programme.
Professor Sylvester Achio, the Vice Chancellor of ATU, said the programme was to create entrepreneurial spirit among the youth through the needed skills development to bridge the gap between academia and industry; a way of addressing the unemployment challenges.
He said in order to enhance the acquisition of practical skills by students, 14 disciplines of the University had been attached to various industries to acquire more practical skills to impart to students.
Prof. Achio said a total of 12 industries had partnered the University to undertake the programme and, therefore, called on other partners to assist in the skills development programme.
Mr Joe Tackie, the Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Business Development in a keynote address, said the future of every nation depended on the productivity of its people; therefore, the government would invest in skills training and apprenticeship under its industrialisation agenda to create jobs for the youth.
“We have large numbers of youth spinning out the universities and it is crucial that we interface the entrepreneurial mind-set in them while they are in school, so that they could identify the various opportunities around them and transform into their own businesses,” he said.
He said that to enhance both the quality of education and productivity, much greater priority must be given to basic internships, an integral part of every undergraduate student.
This, he said, was at the core of experiential education, which was critical to the economic development of any country.
He added that President Akufo Addo had launched the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation plan, an initiative, which would help upcoming entrepreneurs and start-ups to have access to mentoring and business development services and would also see the establishment of high-tech business incubation centres across the country.
He said introduction of the virtual internship programme was transformatory and would offer a great deal of flexibility to both students and participating companies.
Mr Selassie Kwashie, the Programmes Manager, said the programme would inculcate in students leadership abilities, creativity, problem solving skills, strategic thinking and client-centred approach to start their own businesses, amongst others.