An amount of GH¢100 million has been disbursed to 105 enterprises at the launch of the Ghana Skills Development Fund (GSDF).
The amount is part of a $60 million five-year grant, which seeks to support at least 700 enterprises to upgrade the skills of their workforce for businesses in four windows: the formal sector, informal sector, innovation and green, and science and technology.
Each beneficiary under the formal sector window has the opportunity to receive up to GH¢1.1 million, while those in the informal sector, grouped under association and SME categories, can access up to GH¢121,000 and GH¢110,000 respectively.
Beneficiaries under the innovation and green window can access up to GH¢1.65 million, while those under the science and technology window can access up to GH¢2.75 million.
The fund, which is being implemented by the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), is a collaborative effort by the Government of Ghana (GoG) and development partners to establish a competitive fund, known as the GSDF, to support skills development.
The GSDF focuses on the provision of entrepreneurship and micro and small enterprise support for jobs, and serves as the vehicle to operationalise the subcomponent of Ghana Jobs and Skill Project.
It is being implemented by the CTVET.
The expected outcomes of the support are increased productivity and competitiveness of beneficiary enterprises, leading to job creation, increased incomes and better livelihood.
Launching the fund in Accra yesterday, a Deputy Minister of Education, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, said the government was applying a portion of a loan of $200 million from the International Development Association of the World Bank towards the implementation of the GSDF as one of the key components of the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project.
She emphasised that the fund would support the upgrading of the skills of employees of the beneficiary enterprises and companies for productivity improvement and to enable employees to adopt emerging new technologies.
“We also hope that it will enable current employees to earn higher technical and vocational skills qualifications and incomes and finally lead to upgrading the skills of master craftspersons and self-employed graduate apprentices,” she added.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the centenary celebration of the Asuansi Technical Institute in 2017, pledged that it was the goal of the government to make Ghana a world-class centre for skills development and a leading country in TVET delivery in Africa.
“In relation to this, the government over the past six years has worked to improve on governance and management by establishing the CTVET and the TVET Service through the passing of Act 1023 and Act 1049 respectively to enhance quality, expand access and increase funding for TVET.
“We are consolidating our gains in the past years by keeping to our promise.
We are taking conscious steps to make Ghana a centre of excellence in TVET in West Africa and to make Ghana globally competitive within the TVET ecosystem.
“This commitment is clearly shown in our quest to establish the GSDF, which is being launched today, and to develop policies that will drive positive changes within the sector,” Mrs Ampofo said.
World Bank commitment
The Lead Economist at the World Bank, Elena Glinskaya, commended the lead agencies for their contribution towards the fund, explaining that it was in line with government priorities and the World Bank’s vision to eliminate poverty through job creation.
Speaking on behalf of the Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Laporte, she advised the public to take advantage of the opportunity and actively utilise the resources to improve on their skills and upscale the target industries.
Objective of GSDF
The Director-General of CTVET, Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, said the “GSDF is part of government’s overall strategy to industrialise Ghana, with the objective to create jobs and competitiveness of the skilled workforce.
“It is also to raise the income-earning capacities of people, especially women and low-income groups, through the provision of quality-oriented, industry-focused and competency-based training programmes and complementary services,” he said.
Dr Asamoah further indicated that the GSDF was a challenge fund mechanism, which addressed the skills needs of enterprises operating in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
The first cohort of beneficiaries received dummy cheques after successfully going through a thorough application and selection process and are set to start implementing their various concepts in earnest.