THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Koney, has announced that his outfit is putting measures in place to establish a Tertiary Education Fund (TEF) to support students being groomed for the mining sector with adequate practical training.
The TEF, which is expected to be operational by 2020, would ensure that students are provided with requisite equipment to build capacity (human resources) for the mining sector.
“We have gotten approval from the Executive Committee and Council of the Chamber to set up the Tertiary Education Fund (TEF) effective next year.”
Mr Koney made this known at a two-day media training workshop organised by the chamber in Accra on March 12.
He added that the chamber was working closely with the Minerals Commission to extend support to the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT) in the area of technology and innovation within five years.
According to him, the fund, when operational, will provide graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge for the mining job market, even before they secure jobs.
Mr Koney noted that technical knowhow of personnel in the mining sector is very important, hence the need to be equipped to work.
“I think is about time we started looking at technical and vocational education and training and it is critical,” he said.
He opined that an increase in the participation of local professionals would help develop the mining value chain.
Additionally, Mr Koney said a steering committee has been set up to iron out measures to upscale mining local content and empower local manufacturing companies in the mining sector.
The move, he said, was one of the chamber’s actions towards maximising local participation, translating into mining inputs of high-quality standards.
Institutions that constitute the steering committee include the Chamber of Mines, Minerals Commission, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
The Head of Policy and Planning at the Minerals Commission, Mr Collins Anim Sackey, reiterated the need for the mining sector to stick to a localisation plan that would give indigenous people some leverage in the mining industry.
Mr Sackey said per the localisation plan backed by law, Ghanaians must have greater access to mining goods and services as well as recruitment and training of personnel.
“Section 50 of the Act talks about the localisation policy which demands that after obtaining a mining licence, a localisation plan must be drafted and submitted to the commission for recruitment and training of Ghanaians into the mining industry,” he said.
Section 50 of the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 730) states that “(1) In pursuance of a localisation policy, each holder of a mining lease shall submit to the commission a detailed programme for the recruitment and training of Ghanaian personnel as prescribed.(2) The programme to be submitted under subsection (1) shall be a condition for the grant of a mining lease.”
He stressed the need for more Ghanaians to be directly involved in the mining industry as opposed to the number of expatriates in terms of personnel and production of goods and services.