Business News of 2014-08-01

COTVET boosts capacities of 175 SMEs

The Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), under the Skills and Development Fund (SDF), has awarded a grant to the tune of GH¢41million to 175 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Among the beneficiaries of the SDF 4th Call for Proposals is God is Great Yam, Cassava and Maize Farmers Group in Kpasa. The grant will enable the group to acquire skills in preservation and storage of yam, cassava and maize, as well as in the management of their farming businesses.
The Hemang Nkosoo Plantain Farmers Association will also use the grant to train its members in the rapid multiplication of plantain suckers to increase cultivation for expanded farms to meet the increasing local and international demand for plantain.
In the formal sector, Aglow Farms will also use the grant to acquire innovative technology to facilitate the slaughter of 500 birds per hour and install a modern feed-mill to provide continuous cost-effective nutrition to the over-250,000 birds at the farm.
The University of Energy and Natural Resources will also use its grant to develop an innovative and practically-oriented curriculum and competency-based training course that will take into consideration local technical expertise, industry, academia and modern technology for the benefit of key stakeholders in fire and disaster detection, prevention and management.
The benefit of the curriculum will be to provide skills to protect economic gains made by industry, protect the environment, and make lives safer to ensure the country’s GDP growth and sustainability.
Minister of Education Prof. Naana Opoku Agyeman in a speech read on her behalf said: “We all know how crucial the skills and technology development agenda is to every country’s industrial development.
In addition, she said it provides the building blocks for a meaningful take-off of any industrial revolution by empowering the middle-level manpower to propel productivity levels and quality in productive sectors of a country.
“It also provides the know-how to inject efficient production technologies for increased productivity and growth. The SDF agenda amplifies the relevance of skills and technology in every emerging or industrialised economy.”
She said the country’s economic growth is driven by the private sector, which provides a critical mass of jobs for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour -- adding that two key challenges for the private sector are limited access to skills and innovative technology to stimulate and sustain production, efficiency and competitiveness.
The SDF, she said, is one of government’s initiatives with funding from the World Bank and DANIDA to provide a demand-driven response to challenges faced by productive sectors of the economy.
She said the Fund is aimed at strengthening productive capacity, competitiveness, income levels and employment creation in industry by providing grants to finance skills and technology upgrading in the economy’s productive sectors, while providing grants to science, technology and research institutions to develop innovative technology required by industry to be efficient and competitive in the global arena.
The Project Coordinator and Head of the COTVET-PSU, Matthew Dally, said the council has worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the existence of a robust and transparent grants-making system that assures confidence and value for money.
“Not only have we given grants over the years, we have also monitored their utilisation to ensure they conform to contractual obligations of grantees.
“We have also provided financial and procurement management support to enable grantees use grants in accordance with prudent financial and procurement practices.”
Source: B&FT
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