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Business News of Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Source: GNA

AGI and ILO sign agreement to boost capacity of 50 SMEs

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has secured a grant of $150,000 under the International Labour Organisation’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) project to support and enhance the capacity of 50 Ghanaian Small and Medium Enterprises this year.

SCORE is a practical training and in-factory counselling programme that increases the performance of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while also promoting respect for workers’ rights.

It also focuses on developing cooperative workplace relations. Workers and managers participate together in a two-day classroom training sessions and local experts follow up with on-site visits to help enterprises implement what has been learnt.

Modules cover a range of subjects, including workplace cooperation, quality management, human resource management, and occupational safety and health.

An agreement to that effect was signed on Wednesday between the AGI and the ILO to mark the beginning of the training programme that would help the SMEs meet international best practices in manufacturing and also open the door to the global market.

Nana Owusu-Afari, President of AGI signed on behalf of the Association and Mr Stephan Ulrich, Training, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of SCORE initialed for the ILO.

The programme demonstrates best international practice in manufacturing and in service sectors, and helps SMEs to access global supply chains.

The AGI programme will focus on the training of SMEs in the manufacturing sector.

Nana Owusu-Afari said there was the need for SMEs, which formed a large chunk of business in the country, to enhance their capacity to be able to stand the competitive global environment and also to create jobs.

He said the SCORE training would enhance the capacity of the SMEs to be able to produce efficiently and to meet workplace health concerns.

Nana Owusu said Ghana was chosen for the project because of the possibility to deliver quality training and be in a position to provide knowledge to other countries which might want to learn.

He urged the SMEs to take advantage of the programme to build their capacity.

Mr Ulrich said the SCORE training was a win-win situation for both managers and workers to boost their relationship, improve working conditions and increase productivity.

He said it would enable more Ghanaian SMEs to benefit from global supply chains as the project would help link them with markets outside.

Mr Kwamina Amoasi-Andoh, National Project Manager of SCORE, said the programme had since its inception two years ago trained 34 SMEs out of which 26 had fully completed the various modules and were enjoying the benefits.

He said the programme was demand-driven and focused on SMEs with the potential for growth, as well as readiness of management to support the programme.

The programme comes at a minimal cost to the beneficiary SMEs.

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