By THEODROS YESHIAREGA, Correspondent JULY 11, 2015
STOCKHOLM — The Volvo Group, in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), are training Ethiopian students to confront the country’s shortage of vehicle technicians, the partners announced in a statement.
The project will have the first batch of students attend three years of vocational training program, and is expected to modernize technical schools in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s ambitious plan to transform its economy to manufacturing industry is being hindered due to lack of skilled technicians and engineers especially in the vehicle industry. As exporters of construction equipments and trucks to Ethiopia, Volvo has been affected by shortages of technicians and operators for its vehicles.
To meet these demands, Volvo and its partners begun a pilot vocational training program at Selam Technical college in Addis Ababa in 2013.
Niklas Gustafsson, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Volvo Group says in a statement, investing in such training programs not only help boost its business, but it is also a means to transfer knowledge and skills to Ethiopia which in the long run produce skilled technicians who can support themselves and the growth of their country.
Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of Sida on her part commends the training as “a prime example of cooperation between a private and public operator which can be scaled up and be used in other sectors to create more employment opportunities.”
During the three-year program, students will be trained in work ethics, theory and practical work which is aimed to help satisfy the country’s demands for technicians.
The Volvo Group plans to replicate similar training programs for technicians and operators of trucks, buses and construction equipment in ten African countries, including Zambia and Morocco.