Skills Development Fund

What is SDF ?
This is a financing arrangement within the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) that provides funds for rapid skills delivery through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Why does the SDF  exist?
To minimize skills gaps by rapidly increasing the supply of high demand skills in the labor market.

How is the training provision supported?
Through grant financing that is carried out on a competitive basis for training that promotes rapid skills delivery

What is the size of the Sub- Grant?
Sub-Grants will range from a minimum of US$ 10,000 to a maximum of US$ 100, 000.

Who are the eligible applicants?
There are two types of eligible applicants. The first type includes training providers who would be expected to use the funds to add or expand short-term training offerings. These include:

  • Public training educational providers (to add or expand short-term training offerings)
  • Government-aided training educational  institutions
  • Private training providers (for-profit)
  • Private training providers (not-for-profit)

The second type includes other entities that would act as providers by adding or expanding short-term training offerings for a broad group of prospective trainees in their sector. These include:

  • Associations and Cooperatives
  • Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
  • Legally and financially autonomous Enterprises

Who are not eligible?

  • Individuals
  • Members of the Grants Committee
  • Pilot institutions supported under Component 1 of the Project are only eligible to participate in the SDF in the third round of call for proposals
  • WDA staff or their immediate family members (parents, spouse and children)

How do you know when to apply?
From advertisements in print and electronic media, which invite proposals from potential bidders?

What technical support does the SDF Secretariat give?

  • Assistance is provided to potential bidders on how to prepare applications.
  • Guidance is also offered to successful bidders during implementation to ensure effectiveness.

What are the program durations?
Short-term programs, ranging from 1 to 3 months maximum, directed at meeting urgent skills requirements in the labor market, either improvements of existing programs, expansion of existing programs or development and delivery of new programs.

Who are the targeted beneficiaries?

  • Young adults (not in school and not gainfully employed) to receive job entry training in critical skills.  Target groups include young adults who have completed either primary or secondary education or graduates from vocational centers who may need to upgrade their skills.
  • Public and private technical and vocational training centers and institutions to upgrade their technical and operational capacity to deliver relevant and quality training programs.
  • Trade associations, Cooperatives, NGOs and enterprises to expand their capacity to deliver   industry relevant training programs for current and prospective workers.

What are some of the target priority sectors?

  • Hospitality and Tourism sector such as culinary art, F&B service, housekeeping service, tour agency operation, tour guide training retail sales.
  • Construction and building services sector such as electrical installation, plumbing, air conditioning and refrigeration, masonry, painting, carpentry.
  • Agricultural sector such as food processing, irrigation, commercial cultivation.
  • Technical servicing sector such as Electronics Servicing, Automotive Technology (Light and heavy Vehicle).
  • Clean and sustainable energy sector such as Bio-mass technology and solar technology.
  • Water resources sector such as recycling and treatment.
  • Art and Craft such as basket weaving, handicraft and tailoring.
  • ICT
  • Beauty and esthetics such as hair dressing, tattooing etc
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Film Making and Photography
  • Transportation such as Railway and aviation Management



SDF is one of the 3 components of the Skills Development Project which all focus on skills development by matching demand and supply. Since skill needs are constantly shifting, priority needs should be addressed rapidly and in a flexible manner. As such, a quick delivery financing mechanism is needed to respond to changing priority skill needs.  The project is funded through IDA credit of the World Bank with counterpart fund of Government of Rwanda.

Views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funders or partners or the program as a whole.