Ghana’s prosperity must be powered by knowledge, skills and innovation. This vision is realised where workers and industry are committed to lifelong learning; businesses are characterised by their ability to innovate, prosper and compete; communities cooperate to improve their regions; young people make sound career decisions based on relevant and current information and continue their careers in Ghana; and public policy, including funded programmes, is strategically aligned and responsive to resolving workforce, education and economic issues.
For Ghana to compete and prosper in the 21st century, economic success is dependent upon the creation and sustainability of a knowledgeable and skilled workforce that will support not only the growth of existing businesses, but the addition of new, high wage industries. The systems that create the policies and implement the strategies that connect workers and the workplace must be both agile and innovative in their responsiveness to market driven demands and shifts in the country’s economy and demographics.
Ghana will be prosperous in the 21st century because our people and firms will have a competitive level of education and training, accessed through a delivery system that aligns all resources, public and private, to provide the right skills and technology, at the right time.
There are five key factors in the success equation. First and foremost is the enabling system that creates the environment and provides the resources, support and services that facilitate success for employers, adults and youth. The second factor is the employers who create jobs; invest their own resources in facilities, technology and training; and who drive the skills of the workforce through high expectations and financial rewards for meeting those expectations. The third factor is the competent adult workforce. Presently and for the next few decades, the workforce is and will comprise primarily of individuals who have not been engaged in education or training since leaving school or college. Their willingness and ability to participate in lifelong learning and skill acquisition will largely drive the ability of employers to innovate and compete. Another factor in the equation is the emerging workforce (youth. Additionally, it is recognised that access to technology and/or innovation increases a firm’s competitiveness or capacity to hire additional skilled labour.
The Skills Development Fund (SDF) is an important tool in this context. It is a challenge fund providing a demand driven response to three critical challenges encountered by the productive sectors of Ghana: an adequately qualified labour force; the urgency of training institutions providing up-to-date skills training; and access to state-of-the-art technology. The SDF caters to the skills needs of the formal and informal sectors of the economy; it will be available for pre-employment initiatives and address the needs of continuous skills upgrading. The Fund will also support partnerships between science and technology providers and industry targeting productivity improvements, product diversification, and growth through technology development or organisational innovations.
SDF Committee Chairman