Business News of 2014-06-20

Skills Development Fund awards GH¢ 15.5m to Tourism Sector

The Skills Development Fund (SDF), being managed by Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COVET), has awarded grants totalling GH¢ 15.5 million to six key stakeholders group in the hospitality and tourism sector.
The groups include, Traditional Caterers Association, Tour Guides Association and Ghana Progressive Hotels Association. Others are National Drinking Bar Operators Association, Car Rental Association and Chefs Association of Ghana.
The beneficiaries will use 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. More than 18,898 workers in the tourism sector will benefit from the innovative skills upgrading initiative.
Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, said tourism is a major foreign exchange earner, hence the commitment by the sector Ministry to develop the human resource within the private and public sectors to effectively promote tourism.
She said it is only when the skills and capacities of the service providers within the sector are upgraded to international standards that Ghana would be positioned to reap the full potentials within the tourism industry.
Mrs Ofosu-Agyare expressed the hope that after the training operators would deliver good services to increase partronage and effectively harnessed its potential for the country’s development.
Mr Mathew Dally, Project Coordinator and Head of the COVET Project Support Unit, said the grant would help 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.
An initiative by the government with financial support of $ 60 million from World Bank and DANIDA, SDF is a challenge fund to address the skills and technology needs of business enterprises operating in both the formal and the informal sectors of the economy.
The fund also supports initiatives addressing the needs of continuous skills upgrading, technology acquisition and innovation and market oriented research and development in the Hospitality and Tourism sector.
By June 2016, the fund plans to disburse about $ 60 million to Ghanaian businesses and training institutions for skills upgrading and innovative technology acquisition which leads to enhanced productivity, competitiveness, profits and job creation.