More than 5,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the informal sector are to benefit from intensive training meant to improve on their competitiveness through better quality, productivity and workplace practices.
Under the ‘Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE)’, the programme seeks to support SMEs to grow and contribute to the creation of more jobs.
It is a partnership between the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Federation of Professional Trade Associations in Ghana (FEPTAG).
Speaking to the media after the opening ceremony of a dialogue session between ILO and FEPTAG on March 3 in Accra, a National Project Co-ordinator of ILO, Mr Samuel Asiedu, said the training was part of ILO’s contribution to enhance the capacity of the informal sector due to its effect on the country’s economy.
“So, today marks the beginning of a partnership between ILO and FEPTAG and this will lead to a training programme for some trade associations and their members under the FEPTAG.
“The intensive training is part of an effort to help sustain competitive and responsible enterprises within the informal sector in the country,” he said.
The Project Co-ordinator stated that he was optimistic that beneficiaries will be able to use topics from the training such as quality assurance to overcome operational challenges facing their businesses.
“This training is aimed at building the capacities of these businesses in order for them to serve their customers well. Businesses are required to operate within a framework of some international regulations to help them achieve their goals.
“So, when it comes to quality assurance, you are putting in place a system that ensures that from planning through production to the point where the consumer takes your product, there is this set of practices that ensures that you are delivering based on the expectations of the clients, based on the expectations of regulatory framework and based on the goal of the enterprise,” he said.
He added that the programme was aimed at upscaling the informal sector to meet the new trend of business globally and to open up opportunities to the self-employed and skilled youth in the country in the bid to reduce the unemployment rate.
For his part, the Director General of the Management Productive and Development Institute (MDPI), Mr Kweku Odame, said the MDPI will ensure continuity of the SCORE initiative when ILO leaves the scene in not too long future.
He observed that the MDPI was in a better position to ensure that all programmes under the ILO were sustained in order to provide the needed support to SMEs.
“It is expected to provide Ghanaian SMEs with a training intervention that combines practical classroom sessions with in-factory coaching to enable them to participate in global supply chains and adapt to emerging market demands brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”
The National President of the Ghana Hairdressers and Beautician Association (GHABA), Ms Tina Yirenkyi, expressed confidence that the training programme will go a long way to help the sector improve upon its work.
“We are so grateful that ILO has come to our aid and developed this training content for us.
“We are expecting that after the whole programme, we will leave here being very well vested in whatever training that they are giving to us so that at the end of the day we will also have the strength in leadership to develop our people and to make them dependent,” she added.