A total of 368 youth aged between 15 and 23 are participating in this year’s Zonal WorldSkills competition in the country, which kicked off last Tuesday.
Out of the number, 268 of the competitors competed in the southern zone, which ended last Wednesday, while the remaining 110 will compete in the northern zone from July 3 to 6, 2023.
The trade areas for the competition include bricklaying, fashion technology, autobody repair, cooking, carpentry and joinery, hairdressing and welding.
The rest are automobile technology, beauty therapy, graphic design, I.T. software solutions for businesses, mechatronics, mechanical engineering CAD and electrical installation.
The centres for the competition in the southern zone were the Accra Technical University (ATU), the Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC), the Applied Technical Institute and the Prestige Institute of Professionals.
For the Northern zone, the competition will be held at the Suame Technical Institute, Uni-Jay Fashion, the Kumasi Technical University and the Kumasi Technical Institute.
Winners at both zones will progress to compete in the national skills competition to be held in October this year.
The winners at the national level will then represent the country in both Africa and the WorldSkills Competition in France. The country to host the Africa competition is yet to be determined.
This year’s number of competitors represents about a 300 per cent increment over the previous year when only 78 contested.
At a press conference to officially launch the competition in Accra last Monday evening, the Director-General of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, was excited that the increased participation was an indication of the growing interest in the TVET sector.
“I am excited that the numbers have increased by over 300 per cent and even when we closed registration, there were people who were still calling to inquire about the competition.
“So, the interest is going up and a time will come when the skills competition will be the most prestigious contest everyone will be interested in,” Dr Asamoah said.
He appealed to corporate Ghana, especially industry players, to support the contest, as they had the biggest opportunity to utilise the skills of the contestants.
Dr Asamoah expressed gratitude to the EU Ghana Pact for Skills: Support to the Transformation of the TVET System being implemented by GIZ, the World University Service of Ghana, under the INVEST Project, UNI-JAY Company Limited and Prestige Institute Professionals for supporting the 2023 skills contest.
He said the role of corporate Ghana in skills competitions such as this was crucial in transforming TVET education in the country, which is geared towards providing the skilled manpower required to work for the various sectors and industries.
Dr Asamoah commended the government for its commitment to promoting TVET education through various investments, in spite of challenges such as COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He was of the view that skills competitions encouraged creativity, competitiveness and innovation and more importantly boosted the image of a country on the international stage.
Dr Asamoah said the introduction of the skills competitions by the CTVET, as part of the MYTVET campaign, was aimed at revitalising technical and vocationaleducation and training skills competitions among TVET institutions in the country.