By Bertha Badu-Agyei, GNA
Koforidua, April 15, GNA- Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has charged graduates to go beyond attainment of university degrees and venture into other avenues to prepare them for the job market irrespective of the areas of study.
He said degrees and certificates alone did not guarantee jobs especially in the manufacturing industry, adding that, “having a degree is not about wearing suits, heels and making up faces, but it’s about being ready to learn and work even if your hands would soil with dirt”.
The industry guru, noted that unfortunately, the graduates being churned out, were not meeting industry expectations because they had no skills and were not ready to take off their coats of degree certificates and go down the trenches where their services are needed most”.
Dr Adu Gyamfi was speaking the 15th Congregation of the Koforidua Technical University where about 1,994 people graduated in various disciplines, on the theme: “Technical and Vocational Education, Solution to Graduate Unemployment in Ghana”.
He noted that Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) was not the ultimate solution to graduate unemployment, but it presented more opportunities for gaining employment especially in industry, “attitude and humility are what keep one in a job and not certificate or degree”
Dr Adu Gyamfi who had much of his speech interspersed with applause from the audience made it clear that industry was not looking for graduates who are ready to strip their suits and soil their hands to get the job done.
He said the way forward in ensuring that students churned out were relevant to industry, was for government to provide incentives for the private sector to take up more students for internships; leading to permanent employment.
The President of the AGI mentioned procurement of machinery or equipment to set up training sites in companies to train students with the needed skills in addition to their schooling, as one of the ways to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
Mr Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister appealed to Technical Universities and Polytechnics to liaise with industries in order to conduct applied research that would yield practical benefits to students in the world of work.
He also added that the focus of university training was not only for the acquisition of knowledge, but for the development of analytical and problem solving skills to deal with challenges of national development.
Dr Smile Gavua Dzisi, said the 15th congregation had a total of the HND graduates from 1999-2018 to 16,960 and Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) graduates from 2013-2018 to 990 in the history of the 20 years of the existence of the school.
She said the KTU was committed to problem solving education through partnership with industry and had signed an agreement with the Energy Foundation.GNA