The Government of Ghana has received financial support of up to USD 60,000,000 from the World Bank and DANIDA towards the setting up and implementation of a Skills Development Fund (SDF), an initiative of the Government of Ghana and managed by the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
The SDF is a 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 supports initiatives addressing the needs of continuous skills upgrading, technology acquisition and innovation, and market-oriented research and development. Among the key sectors of focus is the Hospitality and Tourism Sector.
Under its 4th Call for Proposals, SDF today grants totaling GHC 15.5 Million to six key stakeholder groups in the Sector. They include the Traditional Caterers Association, Tour Guides Association, Ghana Progressive Hotels Association, National Drinking Bar Operators Association, Car Rental Association and the Chiefs Association of Ghana.
Beneficiaries are using the grants to upgrade skills in Health and Safety at work, adoption of best practices in hygiene, customer care, total quality management and HAZARD Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)/ The grants, observed Mr. Matthew Dally, Project Coordinator and the Head of the COTVET Project Support Unit, will go a long way to increase the service quality of the beneficiary practitioners in the tourism and hospitality sector while increasing their capacity to adopt international best practices and boost their competitiveness.
He mentioned that, under the Tourism Industry Training Project, SDF will provide up to GHC 16 million in grants to support various capacity building initiatives for members of the Ghana Tourism Federation, an umbrella body of various Business Associations in the local tourism industry.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu- Adjare, who chaired the brief ceremony which was held at the Conference room of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts observed that, tourism is a major foreign exchange earner in Ghana, informing her Ministry’s commitment to develop the Human Resource within the private and public sectors to effectively promote tourism.
She reckons that, it is only when the skills and capacities of service providers within the Sector are upgraded to international standards that Ghana will be positioned to reap the full potentials within the tourism industry.
The occasion was attended by COTVET officials and representatives from the beneficiary organisations who signed their grant agreements to pave way for the disbursement of funds for implementing the various capacity building interventions across the country. According to Ato Simpson, SDF Manager at COTVET, 18,898 workers in the tourism sector will benefit from the innovative skills upgrading initiative which is being funded by SDF.
By June 2016, the Fund plans to disburse over US$ 60 Million to Ghanaians businesses and training institutions for skills upgrading and innovative technology acquisition which leads to enhanced productivity, competitiveness, profits and job creation.