90 SMEs have benefited from a training programme aimed at increasing their productivity and efficiency under the German development cooperation.
The Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), a sub-vented Agency under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), in partnership with the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, held the project closure and Certification Day Ceremony to mark the official closure of this training programme, labelled Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) for SMEs.
The programme is supported by Invest for Jobs, the brand of the Special Initiative, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, among others.
SCORE is a global programme of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that seeks to improve productivity and working conditions in SMEs.
The training combines practical classroom sessions with in-factory consulting. It demonstrates the best international practices in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs to participate in global supply chains.
This ultimately leads to the growth of enterprises, job creation and economic development. The SCORE Programme was first launched in 2011 in Ghana with funding from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
In July 2021, a grant agreement was signed with the MDPI to implement to train 90 SMEs under the SCORE programme with the objective of boosting the productivity of SMEs and creating jobs.
The Country Director of GIZ Ghana, Mrs. Regina Bauerochse stated that “improving resource efficiency and promoting cleaner production of SMEs is a topic that has become increasingly relevant in recent times and within the scope of the ‘Green Recovery’ following the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“We have already received positive results from some of the supported SMEs in areas of energy conservation, proper waste management, production time management which is expected to boost their productivity. We are therefore highly optimistic that this strong partnership with the MDPI and the ILO would result in greater impacts in terms of productivity and the creation of at least 150 decent jobs for our SMEs, which is core mandate of Invest for Jobs,” she added.
Speaking at the project closure and Certification Day Ceremony, the Deputy Minister, MELR Hon. Bright Wireko Brobby, who read the speech on behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, indicated that with SCORE phase III, the programme focused on building local capacity to take over the running and delivery by both public and private sector stakeholders.
As a result, the MDPI, SCORE Training Solution Ghana (STSG) and Federation of Professional Trade Associations in Ghana (FEPTAG) have been equipped with certified SCORE trainers to deliver across the country.
As part of the sustainability strategy, he said, the Ministry through the MDPI has mainstream SCORE into its programme and activities. Thus, together with STSG and FEPTAG, a lot of enterprises stand to benefit this world standard business productivity and decent work improvement programme.
SCORE does not only seek to improve enterprises productivity, it also improves the working conditions of workers as well as improves relations between employers and employees through social dialogue, the Minister explained.
Hon. Baffour Awuah expressed happiness that with SCORE programme mainstreamed into the operations of the MDPI and especially its alignment into public service delivery, the programme will become a tool to improve enterprise development and employment creation for the masses.
He further stated that enterprises are only able to employ workers when they are producing well and making profit. Also, workers are happy to give of their best when they work in a conducive environment and good working conditions.
Director General of MDPI, Mr. Kweku Odame-Takyi said the involvement of MDPI and the other Implementation Partners in delivering the SCORE/BCP which benefited over five hundred individuals and teams confirms the role MDPI can play in increasing productivity and competitiveness of SMEs in Ghana. The programme also speaks to the agenda of the ruling government in the promotion of One District, One Factory (1D1F).
The following outcomes are linked to the SCORE programme as confirmed by the representatives of enterprise beneficiaries:
• Consolidate enterprise competitive position in the local economy
• Expansion of market through African Continental Free Trade Area
• Sustain and create more jobs
In recognition of the role of MDPI, the Institute has received financial clearance for various positions including six Consultants and two Directors to join the team and eventually increase the capability of MDPI to deliver and extend the SCORE/BCP training programmes to other parts of the country.
MDPI is particularly grateful to the German Development Cooperation for the support and interest shown in the project and believes that the partnership will continue.
In all, 60 growth-oriented SMEs with high job-creation potential in different sectors including manufacturing, hotel and tourism industries in Ghana received the SCORE training. Further, an additional 30 micro-enterprises received training in Business Continuity and Recovery.
Key areas covered under the training and coaching programme include workplace cooperation, quality management, clean production, human resource management occupational health and safety, among others. These SMEs were presented with certificates for participation in the training programme.