Ghana Industrial Skills Development Centre
Project Street Address
On the Tema Motorway Roundabout – Valco Highway, On the Tema Technical Institute Premises
Project Postal/Zip Code
Country your work focuses on:
The project focus is in the industrial town of Tema, Ghana
What stage is your project in?
Operating for 1-5 years
What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?
Name Your Project
Ghana Industrial Skills Development Centre
Describe Your Idea
Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.
• Vlisco’s subsidiary in Ghana known as Tex Styles Ghana Ltd, a garment/textiles manufacturing company, faces continuous problems to find and retain well-trained hands-on skills employees to work in their industries in Ghana. A feasibility studies undertaken to find out the reasons indicated that other industries in Ghana face the same problems. More detailed scoping tests conducted in some selected industries, educational institutions (Universities, Poly-techniques and colleges) revealed among others that:
• Current Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Ghana is supply oriented and does not fulfil the skills demand required by the industries, especially not in new technologies. In particular, Ghanaian factories currently face a problem with downtime of machinery because the necessary problem-solving skills are not available among the local workforce. To solve this challenge, the very well-profit oriented industries tried to set up in-house training programs to prepare their workers towards their requirements but found out that they were rather spending much of industrial production time retraining and recruiting to the detriment of increased production. A handful of Ghanaian and Dutch educationists and industrial innovators through a private and public partnership effort were able to convince the Governments of Ghana and the Netherlands into forming an industrial partnership known as the Ghana Industrial skills Development Centre with the objectives of establishing a tailor-made department that will fulfil:
• the vocational training requirements of the industries in Ghana.
• Create the avenues where the unemployed youth and graduates desirous of entering the work-world would be given employable industrial skills
• Offer the opportunity for companies to train their employees and to improve the hands-on skills capability of local workers on a part-time/ fulltime basis.
The first huddle was to determine the position of the GISDC in the educational system of Ghana to enable GISDC determine the catchment areas to concentrate on as well as the placement of their graduates.
What makes your idea unique?
8. Several conferences I attended and presentations I gave on this project confirmed my conviction that the way forward for the rapid development of the country (Ghana) lies on the urgent need of industry and the planners of education to work together in solving the manpower requirements of the country. This was amply demonstrated by the numerous invitations I received from UNIDO, UNDP, the World Bank, JICA and other stakeholders who read about this project.
What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)
Education , Education reform , Youth development , Development & Prosperity , Business , Community development , Corporate social responsibility , Economic development , Employment , Information technology , Poverty alleviation , Social Enterprise .
What impact have you had?
The impact is that the project has begun to draw the attention of not only the government but also industrial players and movers of industry to again take another look at the current structure of education in the country and how they (government could play a part in bringing industry and the educational institutions to retool their outcome into skills required by industry.
Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.
Our primary challenge was to determine:
• The required skills demanded by industry
• How these skills could be turned into a curriculum with emphasis on “hands-on skills”
• How can the project be sustained to continue serving the purpose it is designed for.
• Funds for the project
Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.
A public private partnership was established between the Dutch and the Ghanaian governments to find suitable stakeholders and interested parties to raise funds and human resources for the start of the project. The Ghana government through the Association of Ghana Industries and some major industrial partners, (Unilever, Nestle, Ghacem, Fanmilk, Wienco, Gafco, Cocoa Processing Company, Tropical Cable and Conductors, Nexans Ghana, DfID, Barry Callibaut etc) gave funds for the start up of the project whilst the Dutch government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana played major roles and gave substantial funds and human resources to start up the project.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:
It will take commitments on the part of both governments to comply with the feasibility study report which spelt out the roles of each partner as well as the various materials and equipment to be procured for the project to be successful. Most often, projects of this nature fail because of deviations in the initial feasibility study report and delays in keeping to the time schedules leading to huge budget variations.
Success in Year 2:
Success in Year 3:
Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)
Before the start of the project there was a comprehensive feasibility study with a business plan, strategic plan and a budget plan of action.
What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:
The three most important actions needed to grow this project are points raised in the previous questions. Strict compliance with these plans is the requisites for a successful growth.
What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:
What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:
Describe the expected results of these actions.
When the project is fully functional, it is expected that the graduates of GISDC will become the prime movers of the mechanical-electrical- and process- engineering innovative brains of industry. It also envisaged that with the full flight of this project, GISDC in collaboration with YES-Ghana will solve the country’s
• Youth Employment problem
• Education and capacity building
• Demand driven-training
• Engage the disadvantaged Youth through the GISDC Social Support Programme (SSP)
• Upgrade Skills of Youth for gainful employment
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
The defining moment was the signing of the Land Lease agreement upon which the project was to be built. It is of interest to inform that during the signing of the Public Private Partnership agreement between the Governments of Ghana (on behalf of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Trade and Industries, the Association of Ghana Industries, some industrial stakeholders, who became the initial funding partners) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Royal Netherlands, it was agreed by both parties that as part of the Government’s show of interest and commitment to the project, the Government of Ghana should acquire and lease the land on which the project will be built to the Government of the Netherlands. This process of legal documentation was to have taken place when the building process was half way through. But believe me, two years after the signing of this agreement, tendencies of the normal political bureaucracies started rearing their ugly heads; draft upon drafts of the land lease agreements were moving back and forth from table to table, leading to frustrations on the active members of the project. The defining moment came when the Operations Manager of the project had to carry the final draft to all the parties involved (twelve in all including government representatives who were campaigning for re-elections) to enable them append their signatures before elections were held. UNFORTUNATELY SEVERAL OF THESE REPRESENTATIVES LOST THEIR MINISTERIAL POSITIONS IN THE ELECTIONS.
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Significantly, the social innovators behind the GISDC idea came from two individuals namely Saskia Bosscha, a Dutch graduate attached to Vlisco in the Netherlands and Emmanuel Edudzie, a Ghanaian youth activist working for “Yes Ghana” a Youth advocacy group desirous in assisting GISDC in its quest to solve the youth unemployment challenge in Ghana.
YES-Ghana brings together innovative and energetic groups who work with relevant stakeholders to lay the foundation for the promotion of a sustainable and productive YES-Ghana brings together innovative and energetic groups who work with relevant stakeholders to lay the foundation for the promotion of a sustainable and productive future for young people in Ghana
YES-Ghana’s vision is of a world-class centre of excellence in youth development policy, practice and research.
The mission of YES-Ghana is to support and promote policies and initiatives that help youth succeed in becoming life-long learners, productive members of society, materially sufficient, and self-respecting citizens.
YES-Ghana aims to facilitate collaboration, coordination, information sharing and advocacy amongst governmental organisations, non-governmental entities, academic institutions, research bodies, civil society, and eminent individuals future for young people in Ghana
YES-Ghana’s vision is of a world-class centre of excellence in youth development policy, practice and research.
The mission of YES-Ghana is to support and promote policies and initiatives that help youth succeed in becoming life-long learners, productive members of society, materially sufficient, and self-respecting citizens. YES-Ghana aims to facilitate collaboration, coordination, information sharing and advocacy amongst governmental organisations, non-governmental entities, academic institutions, research bodies, civil society, and eminent individuals. www.yesweb.org
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Through Naa your contact person in Ghana.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What would prevent your project from being a success?
• Changing the specifications (as documented in the Project Feasibility Report) during the project tenure. Sadly, this has bedeviled the project to the effect that very vital industrial equipment and tools specified in the report as necessary for the efficient implementation of the project were taken off the list.
• The project manager has no full backing from the executive management. Management is divided on issues which borders on conflict of interest unknown to the Project Manager
• Delay in executing the project resulting in costs over the budgetline.
• Bad planning from the initial stages of the project. For example. A decision to recruit an expatriate architect to oversee the building of the project. The expatriate then subcontracts the project to a local architect at a reduced project cost with some backing from executives and expects a quality job to be done. Some management executives taking kickbacks from the process.
• Clear responsibility and accountability. For example. The Project Manager is responsible to the Board of Directors and nothing else. Under the GISDC experience, the project Manager is not only responsible to the Board but also to a Project Steering Committee in the Netherlands and also to the Dutch Embassy in Accra. Where there are conflicting interests, the project manager becomes the punching bag among the elephants. This was the peculiar situation in the GISDC.
• There should be adequate communication channels and sufficient information is available on the project objectives, status, changes, organizational coordination, clients (industry in the GISDC case) needs.
• Constant feedbacks on the project are necessary for the success of the project. That is feedback to the project manager’s reports on challenges, progress etc. Timely feedback on challenges are most crucial and assist the project manager to solving and steering the affairs of the project
This initiative is not connected to any organization
If yes, provide organization name.
How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)
1 – 5 years ago. GISDC has been operating since 2006. Actual skills training of industrial workers and some unemployed youth started in 2008 as a result of delays in the implementation of the project.
Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?
GISDC has an 11 member Board of Directors made up of representatives from the Industry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)
Yes, GISDC has a non-monetary partnership with Yes Ghana where it accepts an average of 4 students a week and gives them free tuition in any skills required
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)
Yes, GISDC has a non-monetary partnership with businesses in general and industry in particular where they are requested to work hand-hand with GISDC with respect to informing GISDC about new technological industrial skills and assisting GISDC with sponsorship of their staff.
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)
Yes, with Government
Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.
The essence of GISDC is to change the face education through another way of facilitating and impacting the required industrial skills to our youth and workers. The success of this project will therefore depend upon a close partnership and rapport between GISDC on one hand and these agencies to enable us service their demands. The result of our effort is to be a service; to be able to meet the needs and demand of industry and to sustain this goal requires that we have a good relationship with them.
How many people will your project serve annually?
The project in full flight should be able to turn out about 800 fully equipped hands-on skills graduates annually.
What is your organization's business classification?
Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?
Number of employees is 6 and Volunteers 2 were from PUM, a Dutch pensioners association but have all left after their term expired.
Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , DFID (United Kingdom) , United Nations Development Progam (UNDP) , World Bank .
|262 weeks ago Kofi Bayitse said: I have been involved with the concept and realisation of the project from inception. As stated it was to fill a void in our educational ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|265 weeks ago Edward Humado said: Samuel, As I write, a team of GISDC planners are with the maintenance and workshop engineers in the industry reviewing areas of ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|265 weeks ago Edward Humado said: The essence of the GISDC idea is to ensure that the technological skills required by industry are those churned out by the ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|266 weeks ago SAMUEL OMODING said: It is a good idea to train and equip our youth with the right skills that will enable them to engage in gainful employment. However, ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|266 weeks ago Katica Kiss updated this Competition Entry.|
|266 weeks ago Edward Humado submitted this idea.|