According to the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), high cost of raw materials is one of the major challenges that confront Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Country. Other challenges such as the cost of packaging materials, competition from imported goods, and the high cost of utilities (electricity, water, gas and fuel) are also hampering the growth and productivity of Industries.
Over the last eight (8) years, the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprise (SCORE), a Global Enterprise Improvement Programme by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been introduced to the Ghanaian industry.
The essence of the SCORE Project in Ghana is to help improve the productivity as well as the working conditions of SMEs to reduce cost, improve quality of products and services so that they can compete favourably in the internal and external markets.
The SCORE Project seeks to assists governments, industry associations, and trade Unions in Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop experts to train the domestic industrial sectors, with particular focus on SMEs. The Programme’s main intervention is SCORE training, where it uses a combination of practical classroom training and an in- factory consulting programme to boost productivity and working conditions of SMEs.
The SCORE training also employs best international practices in Manufacturing and Service sectors and help SMEs to participate in the global supply-chain with quality goods and services produced under best working conditions and supervision.
A global report of SCORE Phase I and II (2009- 2017) reveals that the ILO partnered with 28 institutions in the delivery of training to SMEs in 44 clusters in 9 countries. The report says more than 1,000 SMEs (15% women – owned) have participated in the SCORE training globally, representing a total workforce of more than 200,000 workers. 7500 managers and workers (30 % women, 49%) workers have participated in SCORE classroom training. It adds that 70% of firms that participated in the SCORE training reported savings as a result of participating in SCORE.
Another thrilling information reported on enterprises indicate that more than six months of data showed solid improvement and adoption of new practices in the areas of quality, productivity, absenteeism, labour turnover , occupational safety and health, and job creation.
Surprisingly, the Ghana SCORE project commenced in October, 2010 and was officially launched on Tuesday, 16th November, 2011 but it is worth pointing out that the programme has seen the light of day comparatively and making great impact and innovations on SMEs.
The project is in 5 modules as follows:
- Workplace Cooperation
- Quality Management
- Productivity through cleaner production
- Human Resources management
- Safety and health at work.
So far the SCORE project has trained 125 consultants including government officials and policy makers from multiple ministries. As at December, 2018, over 200 enterprises have participated in the training with 30% completing more than one module and an overall satisfaction rate of 91%. Records further show that the first 9 certified trainers were assisted to develop their own organization, SCORE Training Solutions Ghana (STSG), a non – profit company limited by the guarantee of members, whose members have advanced into Expert Trainers that continues to expand as new SCORE Trainers come on board through their effective training.
Under Phase II of the SCORE project, 734 staff participated in classroom training, out of which 68% were workers, 32% managers and 35% being women. On the average, enterprises cover the cost of training at 20% of Module I and 50% of Modules 2-5.
SCORE Project has developed Expert Trainers who are highly qualified experts in the Modules such that they can perform on any platform such as the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation TV (GBC-TV) to discuss SCORE Training and its relevance to the public and enterprises in a very professional methods.
Since the inception of the SCORE project in Ghana, SMEs have reported tremendous improvement and achievements, particularly those operating in the manufacturing and service sectors such as producers of aluminum products, pharmaceuticals, processed foods and drinks, micro-finances and printing press.
Notably, SCORE has shaped companies like Danadams Pharmaceutical Limited, Metal Fabrication Company, Type Company, Purified Water Producing Company, Multi-Pac Ghana Limited, Norpalm Company Limited, Gold Goast Food Processing, Kings Furniture, and Takoradi Gas limited among others.
After 10 years of operating SCORE worldwide and 8 years in Ghana, the benefits recorded by the ILO includes productivity increasing from 15 – 50 % over 3- 6 months, cost savings of between US$ 3000 and 15,000 within 2-3 months and defect reduction by 10% on the average.
In Ghana, enterprises reported benefits including smoother work flow, efficient production, innovations in shop flow practices, better worker multi-task processes and problem – solving skills, lower labour cost due to increase in efficiency in production, fewer work place and environmental accidents and incidents.
Currently, SCORE is being implemented in enterprises employing between 30 and 300 workers, whether they are recent startups, established companies struggling to maintain market share or dynamic firms with big ambitions.
Going forward, the ILO is partnering the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), an agency under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to train enterprises and other private and public institutions. The MDPI is also seeking to train enterprises in the hospitality industry.
The SCORE Project has for the period under operation been headed by the Project Director, Mr. Kwamena Amoasi Andoh.
To register SCORE, interested enterprises are to send their application to the Accra ILO Project Offices SCORE Ghana Project at the office of the Head of Civil Service, Ministries, Accra.
You may email through:
Association of Ghana Industries, email@example.com,
Department of Factories Inspectorate, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Ghana Employers Association, email@example.com, or
The writer is a staff of the Information Services Department and Head of Public Affairs of the MELR.