About Us

No. Of Grantees since 2011 510
  Total Amt. Disbursed GH¢87 million

In 2006, by Act 718, the Government of Ghana established the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). The objective of the Council is to 'coordinate and oversee all aspects of technical and vocational education and training in the country'. One of the Council's functions is to 'source funding to support technical and vocational education and training (TVET) activities'.

The establishment of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) is seen as one of a series of new mechanisms to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the TVET system and ensure sustainable sources of funding for TVET. To achieve this objective the SDF is designed to include responsive policy, governance structures, institutional arrangements, institutional capacities, systems and procedures to support life-long learning in TVET.

The SDF is embedded in the Government's TVET policy which has as its mission to "improve the productivity and competitiveness of the skilled workforce and raise the income-earning capacities of people, especially women and low-income groups, through the provision of quality-oriented, industry-focused, and competency-based training programmes and complementary services".

Currently, the SDF receives funds from DANIDA through its Support to Private Sector Development Phase III (2016 - 2020), and soon, from the Government of Ghana. The scheme is expected to provide COTVET with the opportunity to monitor, evaluate and develop a model for the expansion of the SDF to cover sectors of the Ghanaian economy in which skills and technological development are required to increase the competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises and provide employment.

The SDF is a challenge fund providing a demand-driven response to three critical challenges encountered by the productive sectors of Ghana: (i) an adequately qualified labour force; (ii) the urgency of providing new entrants to the labour market with gainful, employable skills; and (iii) inadequate access to new technologies and innovations. The SDF caters to the skills needs of the formal and informal sectors of the economy; it is available for continuous skills upgrading and, to a limited extent, pre-employment initiatives.

The Fund will support the following types of training needs and activities:

  • Upgrading the skills of employees for productivity improvement and to enable employees adopt emerging new technologies
  • Enabling current employees to earn higher technical and vocational skills qualifications and incomes
  • Upgrading the skills of master crafts-persons and self-employed graduate apprentices

The SDF is currently managed by a consortium of international development consulting firms led by NIRAS of Denmark, and including the World University Service of Canada and Cornerstone Capital of Ghana. SDF operates as a separate entity from COTVET and has its own set up, but works towards the original objectives which underpinned its conception and set up.
The SDF is expected in the medium term to be mainstreamed and become the Government's principal instrument for providing financial support to skills and technology innovation through collaboration between key stakeholders such as Government, development partners, industry-specific operators.

The SDF provides equal opportunity for public and private training providers to access funding support on a competitive basis; a commitment to greater cost-sharing through private sector and learner contributions to the cost of training and facilitates the establishment of Ghanaian national quality assurance mechanisms to improve the quality of delivery and the confidence of beneficiaries in the training and skills they acquire.

The SDF supports proposals in selected sectors aiming to improve productivity, revenues or earnings through improved skills and to create jobs. Within the priority sectors, the selection of proposals is competitive; based on the relevance, realism and sustainability of the planned outcomes and partnerships. The SDF finances programmes (projects) under four funding windows.

The beneficiaries of the SDF include micro, small, medium and large industries and businesses, trade associations, public and private training institutions, universities and polytechnics. In the short and medium term, the SDF is supposed to benefit employers and employees of priority economic sectors who gain additional skilled employment, higher earnings and improved productivity. In the medium to long term, it is expected to benefit a larger group of economic actors through better access to modern, relevant training services through improved facilities and more adequate institutional structures.