DTI commits to preparing young people for careers in entrepreneurship, design innovation- Founder 

By Morkporkpor Anku 

Accra, April 3, GNA – Design and Technology Institute (DTI) says it is committed to preparing young people for entrepreneurship, design innovation, and precision welding and fabrication careers.  

Miss Constance Swaniker, the Founder and President of DTI, said the institute would be expanding the training offers to include Agriculture and Agri-business and would scale up its unique Precision Quality training to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), artisans, and master crafts persons. 

Madam Swaniker was speaking at the DTI Stakeholder Meeting on the theme: “Redefining Academia and Industry Collaboration as a Driver in Building Robust TVET System.” 

She said DTI was relocating from its current one-acre campus to Berekuso opposite Ashesi University. 

The Founder said the expansion had been made possible by a 3 million euro funding from the African Union Development Agency, Skills Initiative for Africa, and the German Bank KfW. 

She said the DTI model required consideration as Ghana and Africa grapple with strategies to ensure full and sustainable employment for the teeming youth. 

“The DTI since its inception conceived and implemented the Community Liaison Officers initiative which allows the Institute to partner with one or more members of the community to enable them to reach marginalized youth with the DTI opportunities,” she added.  

She said in less than five years of full operation, DTI had demonstrated the powerful impact of focused holistic training towards skilling young people and making them ready for the world of work. 

Miss Swaniker said already, all learners in the first two years of operation of DTI were already in full-time employment or were continuing their studies and assessments from multiple agencies. 

She said in 2020, DTI, in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, embarked on a 3-year project to create 40,000 job opportunities for young people with a focus on females and the vulnerable, a target which had been achieved according to assessments by an independent Labour Economist at the University of Ghana. 

These job opportunities were created by giving formal training to young people in the dual TVET-cum-production school at DTI, training SMEs and master-craftspersons. 

It also trained academic and business scale advisors and effected systems change through collaboration with state actors to shape national policy in precision quality and standardisation. 

“DTI believes that the traditional TVET approaches to training are overly theoretical and do not equip young people for workplace realities,” she said. 

She said their unique “production school” programmes provide learners with regular and adequate hands-on, on-the-job training as part of the curriculum. 

Miss Swaniker said students, regardless of their field of study, learn by doing and could engage in real-world projects. 

She said DTI was founded in 2016 on the Accents & Arts (A&A) factory floor to provide the youth with work-readiness skills and to bridge the gap between industry and academia. 

This occurred because of the huge and unsustainable demand on A&A to provide internship opportunities for young people, most of whom went on to get well-paid jobs after the training. 

Dr Christopher Mensah, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Ho Technical University, said with close collaboration with the University and industry the graduates would be trained and ready for the world of work. 

He said Industries were not seriously committed to investing in the training of students to feed their establishments. 

He said as a University, they include Precision Quality into their curriculum to equip all students and prepare them for the future.