EFC to help SMEs increase productivity via low cost strategies

Tuesday, 1 November 2011 00:25 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon in association with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will be offering exclusive training in the WISE (Work Improvement in Small Enterprises) system – a proven strategy that simultaneously improves both productivity and working conditions for SMEs.

A training course will be held on 21 to 22 November focusing on ‘Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE),’ which will give SMEs low cost, voluntary strategies to improve working conditions and at the same time boost their productivity.

The course will be conducted by Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) specialist of the ILO Dr. Ton That Khai, the author of many OSH publications, including ‘How Small Enterprises Improve the Conditions of Night and Shift Work using Local Resources’. It will cover many areas of interest to SMEs such as material storage and handling; work station design and work organisation and welfare facilities.

As part of the participative style of the course, a field visit to an SME will also be conducted.  

The WISE programme was developed in the Philippines in 1994 and has been successfully applied in many Asian and Latin American countries looking to help their SME sectors.

The EFC’s course will also explain how SMEs can ‘future-proof’ themselves against unpredicted challenges in the future by becoming sustainable and eliminating any negative impacts on community, the environment and the economy.

For Sri Lanka, the Small and Medium Business sector could be considered a contradiction in terms, because it also happens to be the largest sector within the nation’s commerce.

According to Naoko Ishii, the World Bank’s Country Director for Sri Lanka, SMEs make up more than 80% of island’s business and accounts for 35% of its employment. However, despite being a majority stakeholder in Sri Lanka’s economy, the SME sector is notoriously high risk.

According to statistics published by Small Business Administration, a staggering 70% of new businesses fail within the first two years of trading.

It may be relatively easy to start a new business, but what is the secret to sustaining that business over the longer term? How do you survive the challenges of competitive markets, rising costs and the inevitable imposition of business regulations and legislation? One of the biggest issues for this sector is how to raise their productivity whilst improving working conditions without compromising on the health and safety of their workers.

For many in this group the health and safety practices and stipulations that are implemented by larger companies are either not practical or simply too expensive for small operations to afford.

To find out more about the course and to book places early, please call Thamali Senanayake on 286-966-8, or 2867941 or email [email protected] or [email protected]