Accra, June 12, GNA – The Skills Development Fund (SDF) has approved the disbursement of about GHC22 million to support the acquisition of new and innovative skills and technology by 78 small, medium and large scale industries, training and research institutions.
The grants will specifically be used to upgrade skills and acquire new and innovative technologies in informal and formal sectors of the economy, specifically in agriculture, textiles, science and technology and service sectors respectively.
The SDF is an initiative of the Government of Ghana in partnership with the World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
The Fund is aimed at improving demand-driven skills development and increased adoption of new technologies in selected economic sectors by funding training and technology development opportunities.
It also aims at promoting improved linkages between private sector employers and training and technology institutions through a competitive fund.
Established in 2011, SDF is managed by a Project Support Unit of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) with funding of $50 Million from the World Bank and $10 Million from DANIDA for the period 2011-2016.
In a press brief, the Project Support Unit of COTVET, said out of the GHC 22 million so far approved under the 2nd Call between January and May 2013, about GHC 3.9 million will be channeled in support of skills upgrading in the informal sector.
The projects are targeted at increasing the skills, productivity and competitiveness of the poultry, livestock, food, cash crop and aqua culture sub sectors of the Agricultural sector.
Grants will also be used to provide skills upgrading to artisans operating in the automotive, metal and fabrication, beauty and cosmetics, soap making and fishing.
Grant recipients in the informal sector include the National Association of Garages, Cotton Farmers Division of the Ghana Agriculture Workers Union, Apam Canoe Cooperative Fishermen Society, Kwabre Pig Farmers Association and the Mushroom Growers and Exporters Association of Ghana.
The formal sector grants so far amounts to about GHC 18.2 million. Beneficiary institutions include Agri Commercial Servicing Limited, Persol Systems Limited, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Centre, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Gold Coast Fruits Ltd, Tradeworks Company Ltd, Regional Maritime University and Flair Catering.
Grants in the formal sector will be used to acquire new and innovative technology, training and skills necessary to support improvements in the productive capacity of grantees.
In the second half of the year, SDF plans to disburse an additional GHC 30 million in support of innovative skills and technology proposals from the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
The SDF is a competitive fund opened to all skills upgrading and innovative technology proposals from the formal and informal sectors of Ghana with funding opportunities ranging from GHC 3,800 to GHC 1.9 million.