The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) on January 22nd, 2015, held a one-day national workshop on the theme, ‘Highlighting the Skills Gap in the Ghanaian Financial Industry’, on the premises of its Graduate Campus, as part of its Ghana Business Development Review Project.
Prof. Samuel Adjei Mensah, Provost of the College of Humanities, who spoke at the function, called the Project an innovation and underscored its essence as critical to providing professionals around the world with a keen insight into business operations in Ghana.
Addressing faculty and members of industry in his welcome address, the Dean of UGBS, Prof. Joshua Yindenaba Abor stated that the workshop formed part of the School’s efforts at the production of an annual business report.
Tentatively dubbed the Ghana Business Development Review, the report, he said, will explore the state of businesses in Ghana, tackling issues confronting business development and identifying major challenges confronting various sectors of Ghana’s economy with the ultimate aim of contributing to policy discourse.
Participants of the workshop, who included representatives of stalwarts of Ghana’s banking and insurance sector, were split into 3 groups to brainstorm on the theme with UGBS faculty, along a couple of discussion guides.
The results, outstanding albeit overwhelming, indicated the presence of a wide skill gap between what is taught and that practiced. Participants also identified major contributors to the aggravation of the gap, which include an acute lack of analytical and communication skills as well as the exhibition of the right attitude by students.
In mitigating these bottlenecks to the growth of Ghana’s financial industry, participants concurred, among myriad others, that academia needs to interface on a regular basis with industry to build capacity to advice and teach better.
Industry, it was observed, also needed to invest in training students and develop their “intrepreneural” acumen. Universities were also urged to assess the needs of industry so as to structure programmes and produce research to meet industry demands.
The purpose of the Project, as stated by Dr. Mohamed Aminu Sanda, leader of the Ghana Business Development Review Project team, is to, among others, create a national platform through which trends of skills demands in the Ghanaian financial industry could be established.
He further stated that the project report, on the other hand, will provide needed insights on the skills needs of Ghanaian financial firms, which will help guide the structuring of curricula to develop competent human resource, the opposite of which is the reigning practice and bane of the growth Ghana’s financial sector.
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