Business News of Friday, 12 April 2013
The Skills Development Fund (SDF) on Thursday presented grants totalling GH¢15 million to 40 small, Medium and Large Scale Industries, Science, Technology and Research Institutions to undertake various skills and innovative technology development initiatives.
Businesses in the Agricultural, Information Communication Technology, Hospitality and Tourism, Textiles, Building and Construction, among other sectors, benefitted from the grant aimed at enhancing productivity and competitiveness. The SDF is Government’s initiative with funding support of up to $60 million from the World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) towards its setting up and implementation.
The five-year Fund (2011-2015) is managed by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). In a speech read for her at the awards ceremony, Professor Jane Nana Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education, urged industry to make a true meaning out of the skills and innovative technology support being provided by the SDF.
This, she said, the industry could do by ensuring that the outcomes of the SDF funding was reflected in quality improvements in their productivity, incomes and profit thereby creating avenues for increased employment. Prof Opoku-Agyemang urged the Project Support Unit of COTVET to have a robust and efficient monitoring and evaluation systems and framework to ensure that activities of the grantees were monitored for optimum productivity and results.
Under the 2nd call for proposals, the SDF received applications from small, medium and large scale industries in the areas of horticulture, livestock, agro processing, aquaculture, media, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), oil and gas, cosmetics, textiles and garments, construction, welding and fabrication, mining, furniture, forestry and the hospitality industries among others. Mr Ato Simpson SDF Manager said the Project received 428 applications out of which 56 were provisionally approved, adding that, the applicants were successful because they gave out a genuine need for support.
He urged the beneficiaries to utilise the grants to achieve the objectives of their project, execute on schedule and report challenges promptly for quick resolution.