KINSHASA, 1 June 2022 — The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Government of Sweden, Volvo Group and Epiroc are joining forces to stimulate the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Public-Private Development Partnership (PPDP) will promote youth’s access to qualified employment in the heavy-duty equipment sector. It will also facilitate systemic change in private sector engagement in TVET governance and delivery in the DRC.
“This project is a great opportunity to showcase how PPDPs can support demand-driven industrial skills training and boost youth employment. With our partners, we are joining efforts to modernize the TVET sector and to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the DRC”, said Thomas Maketa, UNIDO Country representative in the DRC.
The heavy-duty industrial equipment sector is a key part of the Congolese mining and construction industries which have the potential to offer high quality employment opportunities to youth. However, very few young Congolese people gain access to these skilled and appealing jobs as they seldom possess the skills required by the productive sectors.
The project “Support for training and skilled employment in the heavy equipment sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo” will improve youth’s access to skilled labour opportunities in the heavy-duty industrial equipment sector in provinces where employment opportunities are the highest.
“Our ambition with this initiative is to create industry-related training opportunities for young people in the DRC that ultimately will lead to job creation. Creating sustainable jobs for young men and women is a key to development and long-term success for both our industry and the society at large and it all starts with quality education. We are committed to driving prosperity through transport solutions and this includes the societies we operate in”, said Johan Reiman, Director Corporate Responsibility, Volvo Group. Within the framework of the project, Volvo Group will join forces with SMT, which is the official dealer of Volvo CE in the DRC, to increase the capacities of the partner training centers.
Accordingly, the project will support two vocational training centers with upgraded facilities, training equipment and tools, and modernized curricula. Trainer capacities will be built to enable the delivery of quality training aligned to employer needs for heavy-duty equipment maintenance mechanics or operators. The supported training centers will also offer career services to help graduates find employment. At least 10% will of the trainees are expected to be female.
Henric Råsbrant, Ambassador of Sweden to the DRC remarked, “Creating employment opportunities for the Congolese youth is an important step towards a sustainable economic development of the DRC. The companies involved will also have the opportunity to employ young women and reap the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive workforce. That’s smart economics!”
The project will contribute to the government’s efforts to reform the TVET sector by encouraging the replication of project innovations in other schools, trades, and regions.
The project supports the DRC’s priorities outlined in its National Strategic Plan for Development and its Sector Strategy for Education and Training. The project will be implemented over a period of five years with a total budget of USD10,846,809. This includes a grant by the Swedish government of USD6,8 million and in-kind contributions by other partners.
About project partners
Sida is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. Sida strives to reduce poverty and oppression around the world.
Epiroc is a leading global productivity partner for the mining and infrastructure industries. With cutting-edge technology, Epiroc develops and produces innovative, safe and sustainable drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment and tools.
The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines.
SMT is one of the largest-standing partners with Volvo Group with a presence in 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the United States. SMT implements its high standards and creates value for their customers and suppliers thanks to their more than 2,000 employees.
UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.