Mr Lee Ocran, Minister of Education, has called for the need to raise the standards of the catering industry due to the major role it plays in the tourism sector.

He said this when presenting catering equipment to 12 technical institutions in the country.

The institutions include the Cape Coast Technical Institute, Comboni Technical/Vocational Institute (Sogakope), St Joseph Technical Institute (Kwahu Tafo), Sacred Heart Technical Institute (James Town), Sovie Technical /Vocationmal Institute (Sovie), Vocational Training for women (Osu),and the Baptist Vocational Institute at (Frankadua).

The others are, Pentecost Vocational Training Centre (Gbawe), Opportunity Industrialisation Centre (OIC), Department of Community Development (Panfo Krom), Youth Leadership Training Centre (Afienya) and Kumasi Polytechnic.

Mr Ocran explained that the presentation was in recognition of the importance of the catering industry to the Ghanaian economy because it provided livelihood for many Ghanaians.

He said if Ghanaians exhibited and attached the right attitude and adequate investment, the industry could potentially play a much more important role in the country?s economy.

?As our tourism sector grows, the catering industry will be expected to keep up with the pace and even surpass the standards in other industries in the sector, ? he added.

Mr Ocran said as Ghanaian businesses and civil society advocated for greater local participation in the emerging oil and gas industry, the catering industry was cited as one of the industries that Ghanaians could benefit from.

He said attention must be drawn to hygienic preparation, nutritional value, innovation, creativity and attractive packaging and appealed to the Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) to spearhead the institutionalisation of competence-based training (CBT) in all TVET institutions, which would give the industry opportunity to train future employees.

Mr Ocran announced that COTVET would administer a $4.7 million World Bank funded project to build the oil and gas training capacity of the Regional Maritime University at Takoradi and Kikam Technical Institutes.

He said the Ministry acknowledges the fact that the provision of qualified technical and vocational training was expensive and aware of the funding challenges facing many technical institutions both public and private.

Mr Ocran said about 15 members of staff from various training institutes would begin a six-week course in TVET Management at Queensland University in Australia as part of government?s efforts in improving infrastructure and the human resource capacity of technical institutes.

He said government with the assistance of its donor partners had set up a Skills Development Fund with $60 million, to support about 19,000 workers and 3,000 firms across all sectors of the economy.

Source: GNA

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