World TVET Database - Country Profiles


TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2012-07-03

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET Legislation

  • The COTVET (Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training) Act 718 of 2006 established the Council to coordinate all aspects of TVET in the country, including policy formulation.
  • Following the introduction of the COTVET Act 718, the first COTVET Board was set up in 2007. The act mandates COTVET to co-ordinate and oversee all aspects of technical and vocational education and training in Ghana.
Other relevant legislative acts and policies include:

  • The National Accreditation Board Act 744 of 2007, which provides for the establishment of the Board as an entity responsible for the accreditation of public and private tertiary-level institutions with regard to the contents and standards of their programmes; and
  • The Polytechnic Act 745 of 2007, which provides a clear mandate to Polytechnics to provide tertiary education in the fields of manufacturing, commerce, science, technology etc. and to provide opportunities for skills development, applied research and publication of research findings.

  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Ghana. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC.

Formal TVET system

According to the COTVET website, in 2006/2007 there were 440 TVET providers in Ghana, of which 188 were public and 252 private. According to the OECD (2008), there were 440 public and 500 private TVET institutions in 2007.

Upon completing junior secondary school, young people can choose to continue their studies in higher secondary level by attending one of the following: senior high school (SHS), secondary technical school or a technical institute. Access to the programmes on this level is based on the performance of the junior high school leavers that is reflected in a leaving certificate.

Graduates of secondary technical schools can proceed to universities and polytechnics, whereas those completing education in technical institutes can progress only to polytechnics or apprenticeships. Young people who did not have an opportunity to complete secondary education can choose from a range of apprenticeships and other training programmes.

By completing a Pre-technical/Craft Course followed by General Technical/Craft Course (both lasting for 2 years) in a technical institute and receiving a certificate of City and Guilds (CGLI), a student may enter a study programme in a polytechnic.

A 3- to 5-year Secretariat/Commercial Course provided by a technical institute leads to certificates awarded by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) or the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

A 3-year course in a Polytechnic leads to a Higher National Diploma (HND). With an additional 18-month programme, a Bachelor of Technology degree can be achieved. An Advanced Technician and Craft Certificate is awarded upon completion of a 2- to 3-year programme.

Students graduating from a polytechnic and receiving an HND may enter university and get a degree after a study course of 2 to 3 years.

Colleges of Education that train teachers for basic schools are also a part of tertiary education in Ghana. Graduates from senior high schools may enter a 3-year programme in a college of education and earn a diploma certificate.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

Informal TVET is offered mostly through apprenticeships with master craftsmen. The duration of the apprenticeships can range between two to three and a half years. It is estimated that the longest apprenticeships (up to 3.5 years) are those in the building, mechanical and automotive sectors. The shortest apprenticeships tend to be in the visual and performance arts, fishing, hunting and forestry and other production-related trades (Ghana Statistical Service, 2008). Informal apprenticeships normally do not lead to formal certification or qualifications.

Non-formal training is provided mainly by community organisations and NGOs and can vary in format, but may include short courses and seminars that will not normally lead to a qualification.


  • Gondwe, M. & Walenkamp, J. (2011). Alignment of Higher Education with the Needs of the Local Labour Market: The Case of Ghana. The Hague: Nuffic and The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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    3. Governance and financing


The key Government Ministry involved in policy- and decision-making in the TVET sector is the Ministry of Education (MoE), and to some degree the Ministries of Agriculture, Employment and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Health and Environment. Within the MoE, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has the responsibility of implementing pre-tertiary education policies formulated by the Ministry.

The COTVET Act 718 (2006) mandates the Council to formulate policies for skills development across the broad spectrum of pre-tertiary and tertiary education (formal, informal and non-formal). The Council also has the mandate to ensure quality in the delivery of access to technical and vocational education and training, and to facilitate research and development in technical and vocational education and training.

The overall goals of the Council are to ensure that unemployed, particularly youth, are given competitive, employable and entrepreneurial skills within the formal and informal sectors, and that graduates coming out of formal, informal and non-formal TVET institutions are endowed with employable and entrepreneurial skills.

The goals and objectives of the Council are coordinated and implemented through several standing committees and a Secretariat.

The National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), established in 1970, has as a mission to provide demand-driven employable skills and enhance the income-generating capacities of basic and secondary school leavers through competence-based apprenticeships, master craftsmanships, testing, and career development. The NVTI operates 38 vocational centres all over the country that provide training opportunities in 28 skill areas.


  • Gondwe, M. & Walenkamp, J. (2011). Alignment of Higher Education with the Needs of the Local Labour Market: The Case of Ghana. The Hague: Nuffic and The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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    4. TVET teachers and trainers

At the time of compiling this report, no information was found.

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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Learners who successfully complete secondary technical school education can obtain a Senior High School Leaving Certificate. Students who successfully complete education in a technical institute can obtain awards from City & Guilds (a British Vocational education organisation offering a wide range of qualifications in different industry sectors), the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (British multi-disciplinary institution) or the West African Examinations Council (a non-profit examination board that issues certificates for the exams it coordinates). Students who successfully complete polytechnic education can obtain a Higher National Diploma or an Advanced Technician and Craft Certificate. Higher National Diplomas can lead to Bachelor of Technology degrees. Some Universities also offer TVET qualifications in the form of sub-degree professional certificates and diplomas (City & Guilds & COTVET, 2011).

National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) Centres award Trade Test Certificates to students who have taken formal training routes and Proficiency Certificates to those who have not taken formal training routes, following success in appropriate tests. They also award ICT and secretarial qualifications.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

A TVET qualifications framework is currently being established, with the aim to improve progression routes of TVET graduates. It is being managed by COTVET, which established a Technical Committee in May 2009 for this purpose. One of the COTVET Standing Committees, the National TVET Qualification Committee (NTVETQC), took over the responsibility to review and establish the proposed Qualifications Framework.

The National TVET Qualifications Framework recommends 9 Levels. Level 1, covering the traditional apprenticeship, is the lowest and the least demanding. Level 9, the Doctorate in Technology, is the highest and most demanding.

Recommended National TVET Qualifications Framework (NTVETQF) Levels

Table extracted from COTVET webpage. Accessed 17 November 2011.


  • Webpage of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Accessed: 17 December 2011.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Ghana. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

COTVET is currently developing a National TVET Strategic Plan which will set the tone to develop and coordinate the implementation of several policies, including the National Qualifications Framework, Competency Based Mode of Teaching and Learning, Recognition of Prior Learning, National Apprenticeship Policy and the Industrial Attachment Policy. All these are being done to lay the foundations for meaningful investment in the development of skills to meet the needs of the Ghanaian industry and workforce. The following manuals are currently under preparation, and will be published soon.

COTVET is also responsible for implementing the National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP). The NAP will offer students the opportunity to carry out apprenticeships in the informal sector, which holds more importance than the formal sector in Ghana. The NAP will consolidate existing apprenticeship schemes and provide pedagogical training to master trainers to provide the training. According to COTVET, the aims of this are:

  • To reform and strengthen the formal and informal apprenticeship system by fusing a competence-based training and assessment system;
  • To develop training systems and mechanisms to facilitate the articulation of the informal level and standards of skills acquisition with those of the formal TVET system;
  • To encourage the formation and recognition of Trade Associations as a means of delivering training-related assistance to members; to integrate Informal Apprenticeship Training into the National Qualifications Framework; and
  • To provide guidelines for governmental and private/NGO activities in the informal sector training and apprenticeship.

  • Webpage of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training webpage. Accessed: 17 December 2011.

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    7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)



Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+2.54 %

For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
10.64 11.00
female male  
11.98 12.41
female male  

49.15 %

49.13 %

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)









1 085

1 226

1 098

1 283

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database

Employment (Million)

total female male


11.98 12.41
Labour Force
Labour Force Rate




Labour Force


3.16 (49.2%) 3.26 (50.8%)
Unemployment Rate






0.28 (50.9%) 0.27 (49.1%)

Youth Employment (Million)

total youth total female male
Population 24.39 3.48 (14.3%) 1.76 (50.5%) 1.72 (49.5%)
Labour Force Rate




Labour Force 6.42 1.87 (29.2%) 0.96 (51.3%) 0.91 (48.7%)
Unemployment Rate




Unemployed 0.55 0.31 (56.6%) 0.16 (51.6%) 0.15 (48.4%)
youth : total



Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC base on ILO: Key indicators of the labour market

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations


Further reading

  • JICA & GRIPS (2007). Vocational and Industrial Human Resource Development through TVET in Africa. Tokyo: JICA & GRIPS.
  • Ministry of Youth and Sports (2010). National Youth Policy of Ghana.
  • Palmer, R. (2009) Formalising the informal: Ghana’s National Apprenticeship Programme. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 61(1), 67-83.

  • COTVET - Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • NAP - National Apprenticeship Programme
  • NVTI - National Vocational Training Institute
  • WAEC - West African Examinations Council

    Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
    Publication Date: 2012-07-03
    Validated by: Ms Modesta E. Gavor;
    Department of Vocational and Technical Education - University of Cape Coast (VOTEC)

page date 2014-12-19

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