ILO to Conduct Seminar on Work Improvement in Small Enterprises


A ‘Training of Trainers’ (TOT) workshop on participatory action-oriented training methodology focusing on the Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE) program will be held on Tuesday, October 31 – November 2 in Monrovia, statement from the entity has said.

The three-day TOT workshop, according to the statement issued yesterday under the signature of the director of communication at the Ministry of Labor, will bring together 30 stakeholders consisting of potential officials from the tripartite-partner government, employers and workers organizations especially Labor Commissioners and inspectors.

The workshop will be organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Office in Liberia and facilitated by Tonthat Khai, ILO Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) specialist.

The ILO statement said small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have become a significant support to the sustainable development of the economy and an important channel to adsorb surplus labor forces. However, the SMEs are still facing many challenges. One of them is how to raise productivity while improving occupational safety and health and working conditions.

The ILO is well positioned to help its constituents address these challenges given its unique tripartite structure and experience accumulated over time. In late 1980’s the ILO developed a training manual entitled Higher Productivity and A Better Place to Work to encourage the full participation of SMEs toward the improvement of working conditions, the statement said.

The TOT training is intended to enhance the occupational safety and health (OSH) capacity of Labor Commissioners and Inspectors as well as provide practical risk assessment tools of advisory services and workplace compliance.

The training will contribute to the promotion of a preventive safety and health culture in the country; to extend OSH protection to SMEs and informal economy workplace; and to formulate a network of OSH facilitators understanding WISE methodology.

The network will be able to conduct WISE seminars and carryout follow-up activities in workplaces for improving the working conditions and the productivity in SME in Liberia and the region.

It can be recalled that in 1982, a pilot training program based on the participatory action-oriented approach was launched with the collaboration of the ILO/PIACT activities. This program presented a systematic approach to simultaneous improvement in working conditions and productivity in SMEs which were faced with difficulties in completing with the market.

The WISE program is a typical example.

Wise was first named in the Philippines (1994) and became very popular in many countries in Asia and Latin America. Since then many countries have applied WISE approach in helping small businesses to take simple, effective, low-cost actions to improve productivity and conditions of work.

The success of WISE training course have fostered the necessity of developing a network of WISE trainers fully understanding the participatory approach to extend OSH protection to SMEs and Informal Economy workplaces. This network, consisting of the representatives from the Government, Employers and Workers Organizations, is able to conduct WISE training and promote the improvement of the working conditions and the creation of the productivity and conditions of work.



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