Funding Windows

WINDOW 1: Formal Sector Enterprises

WINDOW 1: Formal Sector Enterprises

Grant Upper Ceiling Maximum Grant Element Key Focus Areas
GHS 400,000 60% (40% contribution from grantee) Agribusiness and renewable energy
  • Support to short-term skills training for workers in formal enterprises.
  • The cost of training equipment and others such as text books and other learning materials can be funded with up to 10% of the total budget for the project
  • Some of the internally trained workers will be trained further to train new staff
  • The training must be based on an in-company training needs assessment (TNA) which can cover a single enterprise or a group of enterprises.


1. Focus of Window 1

The objective of this window is to promote collaborations between industry and training providers. Funding will be provided to co-operation projects between industry from the formal sector and training providers. The key focus areas for funding are agribusiness and renewable energy although others areas with good potential to improving productivity and competitiveness will be considered.

Funding will be directed to skills development in the formal sector and is expected to focus on higher level skills to be provided by public or private training institutions in collaboration either with larger size employers or associations of a group of smaller size employers. The unit costs of these training activities are not necessarily higher but the scale of training activities are expected to be higher, responding to larger demand, and the duration of programmes may be longer.

The employers and/or employer associations are expected to be in the lead position to define the content and duration of the training. Training can be provided to a single employer with a sufficient number of trainees or to a number of employers with identical training needs. The employers will identify the training provider(s) to provide the training. If required, the SDF Secretariat will assist the employer to identify a suitable training provider. The training providers will be those that have a demonstrable capacity (knowledge, skill, practical experience, training facilities, and necessary machines/tools, the most current technology) to provide the training requested by the employers. While the grant agreement usually is with the employer requesting the training, funds for the provision of such training may be paid directly to the training provider.

The commitment for providing matching grant as well as other conditions applying to the grant will be specified in the grant agreement between SDF and the enterprise.

2. Eligible training activities

Priority will be given to short and medium-term, skills upgrading initiatives aiming to increase the competitiveness of applying enterprises. Priority will be given to training activities that are aligned to the National TVET Qualification Framework, but this is not a pre-condition for support. The trainee must be a permanent employee of the applying company or the company must have notified the trainee that it intends to employ him or her on a permanent basis. Both skilled and semi-skilled workers are eligible for attending SDF sponsored skill upgrading courses.

While the SDF does not support longer term apprenticeship training under Window 1, specific shorter intensive technical or theoretical training activities focusing on specific subjects are in principle eligible for support. Priority will be given to such training activities that form part of a formalised training programme.

Training activities sponsored through Window 1 will primarily focus on the practical skills of the trainee, but relevant theoretical training may be sponsored as well. In rare cases, short basic management training can be funded as well.

It is expected that the training usually is provided by an accredited training institution, but also in-company training can be supported provided the instructor (trainer) has adequate professional qualifications.

Only in rare cases where no relevant training programmes are available in Ghana or can be established at a reasonable cost, the SDF will sponsor training taking place outside of Ghana.

3. Grant application and award process

Projects to be funded under Window 1 will pass through a two-stage selection and formulation process. At the first step is the submission of concept note indicating the skills challenges to be addressed and the proposed way to do this? The standard format is available for this. The SDF secretariat will screen the concept notes and decide which ideas are eligible for the next stage, preparation of a full project. Hence, the concept notes that have passed the screening, the second preparation of a fully-fledged proposal.

Proposals will be subject to an evaluation by external evaluators. The final decision on which projects to fund will rest with the SDF Committee. The grant agreement to be prepared on the basis of the approved project proposal will spell out the details of the project including details of implementation.

Intermediary service providers engaged by SDF but selected by the grant applicants are available to assist prospective applicants with preparation of application accordance with the SDF Guideline. For successful applicants, the SDF meets the cost off this assistance.

4. Ceilings and co-funding requirements

For SDF grants under Window 1, the beneficiary company will have to provide a co-funding contribution of the training activities not below 40% of the total cost of the training. The major part of the co-funding must be in cash, but the SDF may occasionally accept the salary of the trainees as part of the co-funding.

SDF does not support acquisition of equipment except in cases where this is vital for the implementation of the approved training activity. Text books and other learning materials acquired under the grant agreement become the property of the grantee upon the completion of the training. The grant agreement will specify the exact conditions under which the support has been given.

5. Companies requirements

Companies to receive support under Window 1 must meet the following criteria:

  • The company must be registered with the District Authorities and the Internal Revenue Service
  • The company must provide proof of registration with the SSNIT
  • The company must provide proof of registration with VAT
  • The company must be operating in the formal sector in Ghana
  • The employer(s) must demonstrate how the proposed skills requirements will benefit the company and how they will lead directly to increased productivity and competitiveness.

In the event of subsequent funding request, the applicant must submit documentation for the provider's performance on previous SDF contracts.

6. Training provider requirements

Training providers contracted to undertake training activities in response to the needs of grantees must meet these requirements:

  • The training provider must be registered by COTVET or be willing to do so
  • The training provider must be a legally registered organisation
  • The training provider must possess the equipment and facilities necessary to conduct the training at a level that satisfy the requirements of the company procuring the training
  • The training provider must have adequately qualified and experienced teaching staff at its disposal
  • The training provider must have the managerial capacity to manage the contract to be entered with the enterprise that receives the SDF grant.

SDF does not support the following types of training programmes:

  • Seminars and conferences designed to stimulate discussions and/or keep participants abreast with the latest trends in skills upgrading
  • Induction/orientation programmes
  • Absentee payment of staff attending training programmes
  • Appreciation programmes of short duration
  • Programmes specific to company procedures/policies
  • Training for spiritual, cultural and social enhancement, e.g. religious studies and appreciation of music
  • Professional-training programmes, involving the upgrading of personnel such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects
  • Postgraduate training programmes, involving the pursuance of higher education leading to the award of an advanced diploma, graduate diploma, degree or post degree qualification
  • Attachment of engineers and senior managers to advance their skills and knowledge in existing or new work areas.