Under its 4th call for Proposals, the Skills Development Fund (SDF) has awarded grants totaling GHC 15.5 million for the training of 18,898 personnel from six key stakeholder groups in the tourism sector.
The training will involve the upgrading of skills of beneficiaries in Health and Safety at Work, Adoption of Best Practices in Hygiene, Customer Care, Total Quality Management and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) to improve service delivery in the hospitality and tourism industry.
The stakeholder groups are the Traditional Caterers Association, Tour Guides Association, Ghana Progressive Hotels Association, National Drinking Bar Operators Association, Car Rental Association and the Chefs Association of Ghana--all members of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), an umbrella body of various Business Associations in the local tourism industry.
The grants are being disbursed from financial support of up to USD 60 million received by the Government of Ghana from the World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) towards the setting up and implementation of SDF, an initiative of the Government of Ghana and managed by the Project Support Unit (PSU) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
By June 2016, SDF would have completed disbursement of the Fund to Ghanaian businesses and training institutions for skills upgrading and innovative technology acquisition which will lead to enhanced productivity, competitiveness, profits and job creation. Speaking at a ceremony in Accra, yesterday, during which the stakeholder groups appended their signatures to the grant agreement under which the disbursements were being made, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, said the tourism industry was a major foreign exchange earner in Ghana and that the Ministry was committed to developing the human resource capacity within the private and public sectors to improve service delivery and effectively promote the industry.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare noted that it was only when the skills and capacities of service providers within the tourism sector were upgraded to international standards that Ghana would be positioned to reap the full potentials of the industry.
She said a technical team had, therefore, been constituted to monitor the training programme to ensure its success.
For his part, Mr. Matthew Dally, Project C-ordinator and Head of PSU of COTVET, said the grants would help increase the service quality of the beneficiary practitioners in the tourism and hospitality sector while increasing their capacity to adopt international best practices and boost their competitiveness.
In his remarks, Mr David Nana Anim, president of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), said the Tourism Industry Training Project would help overcome the service delivery challenges facing the hospitality and tourism industry.
Mrs Barbara Baeta, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Flair Catering Services, disclosed that a number of manuals and a Guidebook had been developed at different skills levels in an effort to implement a Hygiene and Food Safety Programme of GHATOF.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)