The Department of Labour and Human Resource Studies (DOLAHRS), of the School for Development Studies, has hosted a two-day International Stakeholder Consultative Workshop on Labour Studies at Pempamsie Hotel in Cape Coast.
The two-day workshop brought together trade unionists, union educators, labour researchers and alumni of UCC’s Labour Studies programmes and that of the Global University to review the existing labour programmes and fashion out new ones, especially at the Master’s and Doctoral levels, to respond to the challenges of the labour movement.
Purpose of the Consultative Workshop
In her address, the Head of DOLAHRS, Dr. Angela Akorsu, explained that the workshop had become necessary following the upgrade of the Institute for Development into a School with four departments including DOLAHRS. “As one of the start-up departments of the School, DOLAHRS is mandated to set in motion academic programmes and research agenda. The need for M.Phil. and PhD degree programmes in Labour Studies has been identified” she noted.
Dr. Akorsu indicated that the content of these proposed programmes could only be meaningful by consulting stakeholders in the labour movement for their needs. She further noted that “This is especially essential since the now erstwhile IDS had collaboration with the TUC, Ghana in the area of teaching, research and policy engagement”
Programmes Inherited by DOLAHRS
According to Dr. Akorsu, three programmes, which DOLAHRS inherited, were developed out of the collaboration and they include Certificate in Labour Studies, Diploma in Labour Studies and Postgraduate Certificate in Labour Policy Studies. She said the three programmes targeted unionists at different levels of the organisational structure of the labour movement from the shop floor to senior positions at the national and international confederation levels from countries such as Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and French-speaking Burkina Faso.
Expectations at the End of the Workshop
Dr. Akorsu said that at the end of the workshop, DOLAHRS should be able to identify for further action “Changes required in the existing programmes and curricula to be developed, research agenda for DOLAHRS that responds to the needs of organised labour on the continent and pertinent issues for policy engagement”. She expressed gratitude to the International Labour Organisation for sponsoring the workshop and thanked international participants for their support. She also acknowledged the contributions of Deans in the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Centre for Gender Research and Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) and faculty members from the various departments in the University present.
Stakeholder Consultative Meetings Requirement for Accreditation
The Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Prof. Francis Eric Amuquandoh, said it was now mandatory for Departments to engage in stakeholder consultative meetings to involve industry players in the design and review of programmes to meet the requirements of the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board. He said through consultative meetings academic departments would be able to tailor their programmes to meet the demands of industry. He observed that “At times, academia is facing somewhere and industry is also looking elsewhere and at the end of it industry complains that products from academic institutions don’t fit their needs. Industry and academia need to foster good relationship to become meaningful to the society”
Prof. Amuquandoh congratulated DOLAHRS on the bold step it has taken and hoped that the workshop would produce an internationally acceptable curriculum that would satisfy the needs of industry and the society.
ILO will Support DOLAHRS
The Desk Officer for Africa of ILO, Dr. Mohammed Mwamadzingo, said his outfit would continue to give the Department the necessary support to train profession human resource to deal with union issues around the world. He indicated that members of the labour union in the past were not the same as the present adding that “The current crop of personnel in the labour unions across the world is highly educated so the existing collaboration between them and the academia should take a different trend”.
There were solidarity messages from some departments in the University and labour unions present at the workshop.The opening ceremony was chaired by the Head, Department of Hospitality and Tourism, Prof. Kwaku Boakye.