The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has stepped up its effort at helping to tackle the growing graduate unemployment through well-focused entrepreneurial skills training.

Professor Joshua Ayarkwa, Provost of the College of Art and Built Environment, said this was being done in partnership with the Trade and Industry Ministry.

He said the university was determined to build the capacity of students and encourage them to set up their own businesses to create jobs for themselves and others.

This comes against the background that just about only two per cent of the estimated 250,000 young men and women, entering the nation’s labour market every year, is absorbed into the formal sector.

The remaining 98 per cent ends up either in the informal sector or unemployed.

Prof Ayarkwa, addressing the 51st congregation of the KNUST in Kumasi, said the Department was currently offering varied programmes in the industrial art field – ceramic art, design and technology, metal product design, textile art, design, technology and fashion design.

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By the nature of the courses, he indicated, graduating students should be able to venture into the job market with confidence.

A total of 1,231 students, made up of 814 males and 417 females graduated from the Faculties of Art and the Built Environment, with 135 of them obtaining first class honours.

The Provost announced the approval by the Academic Board, the establishment of a new department to be known as the “Department of Educational Innovations in Science and Technology”.

The goal, he said was to help to administer innovative and market-driven science and technology education programmes at all levels of education.

The new department would bridge the gap in innovations, science and technology education by training teachers across the country to efficiently teach science and mathematics in schools.

Prof Ayarkwa said the Faculty of Art had conducted series of outreach programmes to raise awareness among senior high school students, of the prospects of programmes run by its departments to boost
undergraduate enrolment.

He added that the Department of Painting and Sculpture had been awarded a consultancy project by the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust to construct animal sculptures at the Children’s Park of the Kakum National Park, and said work on the project was almost completed.