The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has formally opened calls for proposal for grant assistance support from the five-year challenge fund of Ghana Skills Development Fund (GSDF).
The call for proposal now opens the window for prospective companies and individuals to access funding from the Fund to expand their businesses and create new job opportunities for the youth.
Opening the calls for proposal in Accra yesterday, Dr Adutwum said the funding mechanism constituted the government’s vehicle to expand job opportunities and ensure the competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises.
He said the GSDF operated a five-year challenge fund which provided a demand–driven response to critical challenges encountered by the productive sectors of Ghana.
Dr Adutwum explained that some of the challenges included, inadequate qualified labour force and inadequate access to new technologies and innovations.
“The Fund also supports partnerships between science and technology providers and industry, targeting productivity improvements, product diversification, and growth through technology development or organisational innovations,” he said.
The minister said in addition, the Fund supported the training needs and activities in the area of upgrading skills of employees for productivity improvement, enabling employees to adopt emerging new technologies and creating awareness on climate change mitigation.
He said as a country that produced goods and services, Ghana was constantly in competition with other nations, who similarly brought goods and services to the global marketplace.
“Our quest to stay competitive and relevant in the global marketplace requires that Ghanaian enterprises competing in those markets have what it takes to compete and to do so without relenting” he said.
Dr Adutwum noted that the availability of quality workforce and the means of production had a direct bearing on our competitiveness as a nation among the nations of the world.
He said through the Commission for Technical, Vocational and Education Training (CTVET), the GSDF would support the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project’s (GJSP’s) objective of creating jobs through the provision of 700+ competitive grants to private and public enterprises.
He said a minimum of 42,000 direct individual jobs were expected to be created from this grant support and after months of preparatory activities, the GSDF was ready to roll out the funding mechanism to the targeted beneficiaries.
Dr Adutwum noted that proposals would be received from four funding windows and these are formal sector enterprises skills upgrading, Informal Sector and Micro and Small Enterprises skills upgrading, Training innovations and greening grants and Science and Technology.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL