Industrial Training of Construction Students: Perceptions of Training Organizations in Ghana

Abstract: 

Purpose The industrial training component in a university’s curricula adds tremendous value to a degree programme by enhancing the employable skills of graduates. This paper assesses the perception of organisations that have trained construction students from the Department of Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, as part of its industrial training programme. Design /methodology/approach Through a structured questionnaire survey of 120 organisations which have offered industrial training to construction students in the Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast metropolitan areas of Ghana, the paper assessed industry’s views on issues relating to the nature and objectives of industrial training, preparation towards training, performance of students during training, effectiveness of the training and areas of improvement. Data collected through the survey was analysed using largely descriptive statistics and content analysis. Findings In the opinion of the training organisations, industrial training exposes students to real work environment and helps them to apply theory to practice. During industrial training, the trainees showed high level of performance achievement in their ability to carry out instructions, ability to function as team players and ability to apply knowledge gained from the university among others. They however showed a low level of performance achievement in negotiation skills, independence, social and multi-racial awareness and ability to make decisions. Major areas requiring improvement in the way industrial training is currently organised include: the need for learning institutions to provide guidelines for industrial training for use by host organisations and to monitor trainees during industrial training; training organisations should design training programmes which emphasise all competencies, appoint industrial supervisors and submit industrial feedback to learning institutions. Practical implications The findings from the study will not only make industrial training programmes in Ghana and other developing countries more effective and successful towards the improvement of skills of trainees and thereby increase their chances of employment after graduation but also provide a reliable source of highly skilled and educated workers and an expanded pool of qualified future employees. Originality/value - The paper provides a basis for enhancing and developing effective IT practices as well as serves as indicators for evaluating existing IT practices in Ghanaian and other universities in developing countries to positively influence future employees of the construction industry.

 

Authors: 

Ayarkwa, J, E.( Department of Building Technology , Associate Professor , jayarkwa.feds@knust.edu.gh ,0322060311)

Osei-Asibey, D.

 

Place of publication: 

Education and Training. vol. 54, No. 2/3 pp 234 – 249, 2012.

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