The Skills Development Fund (SDF) has approved the disbursement of GH?10.3 million to support the acquisition of new and innovative skills and technology by 38 small, medium and large scale industries, training and research institutions.
The grants will be used to upgrade skills specifically in agriculture, textiles, science and technology and service sectors.
The SDF is an initiative of Ghana in partnership with the World Bank and 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 of Ghana by funding training and technology development opportunities.
It will also promote 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 $50 Million from the World Bank and $10 Million from DANIDA for 2011-2016.
In a press brief, COTVET announced that out of the GH?10.3 million so far approved in the first quarter of 2013, about GH?2 million will be channelled in support of skills upgrading.
The 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.
The grant recipients in the informal sector includes the National Association of Garages, Cotton Farmers Division of the Ghana Agricultural 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 GH?8 million and the beneficiary institutions include the Animal Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, The KNUST Jewellery Design and Technology Centre, Precious Minerals Marketing Company, Ainoo-Ansah Farms, KAD Manufacturing Ltd, Regional Maritime University, Agricultural Commercial Services Ltd, Musician Association of Ghana, St. Joseph?s Technical Institute, Literacy Bridge Ghana, Nallem Clothing Ltd and Delta Security.
The 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.
It is expected that by the end of April, another GH?6 million worth of grants would be approved for disbursement.
This year, SDF plans to disburse GH?22 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 GH?3,800 to GH?1.9 million.
The next call for proposals will be launched in April.