Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister for Education, has launched the maiden Skills Development Fair in Accra with a call on the beneficiary businesses of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) to ensure that their outcomes reflect in marked productivity improvements in their operations, incomes and profits, thereby creating avenues for increased employment which is one latent but important outcome of the Fund.
This she said has the potential of making our country economically and socially strong.
The SDF is an initiative from the Government of Ghana (GoG) with financial support of up to USD 60 million from the World Bank and DANIDA. The Fund, since its launch in 2011 is managed by the Project Support Unit of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
SDF is a competitive and challenge fund addressing the skills and technology needs of business enterprises operating in both the formal and the informal sectors of the economy of Ghana. The Fund gives grants to Trade Associations, Small, Medium and Large scale businesses to upgrade the skills of their employees and access technology from Science, Technology & Research Institutions both in Ghana and abroad. Part of the grants has also gone to support Training Institutions to develop demand-driven innovative training contents required by industry for enhanced productivity and competitiveness.
The Fund has since 2012 approved about GHC 39 Million worth of grants in support of innovative skills and technology development initiatives in the private sector. As part of its strategies to share the outcomes of its support to the private sector and promote dialogue between research and technology developers and industry, SDF is organizing a Skills and Technology Fair.
The Fair was organized is to share the outcomes of SDF’s support with the stakeholder and general public. This will inform the business community in Ghana about progress being made in finding innovative solutions to skills and technology related challenges of industry as well as provide insights on funding opportunities available for skills and innovative technology development in Ghana.
Mr. Peter Darvas, a world bank representative and an education specialist said the World Bank is pleased with the impressive performance and outcomes of the SDF and commended Ghana highly for showing the world how to use an innovative and effective fund.