SÖDERTÄLJE, Sweden, 17 February 2016 – Around 40 representatives of the private and public sectors, donor agencies and vocational training centres met in Södertälje to share best practices and lessons learnt from using the public-private development partnerships approach in vocational training across the globe, and in particular in developing countries.
The two-day workshop was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and hosted by Scania, a Swedish company manufacturing heavy trucks, buses and engines. The workshop focused on the role and the sustainability of public-private partnerships for industrial skills development.
“We believe that by bringing together partners from the private and public sectors we can better design and implement projects, share costs, risks, rewards and responsibilities. This kind of collaboration is an effective and increasingly-used means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dejene Tezera, Chief of UNIDO's Rural Entrepreneurship, Job Creation and Human Security Division.
The workshop was part of the Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) programme, a joint initiative between UNIDO and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), which seeks to promote industrial skills development among young people in emerging economies. In particular, the facility supports the establishment and upgrading of local industrial training academies to help meet the labour market’s increasing demand for skilled employees.
UNIDO formed such a partnership with Scania in 2011, and the following year, together with SIDA and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, they jointly opened a vocational training centre, the Swedish Academy for Training in Erbil, Iraq.
The Academy targets unemployed Iraqis under the age of 30, offering them a chance to develop relevant skills and find jobs. Courses are offered not only in maintaining and operating heavy machinery, but also in the English language, computer literacy, after-sales support and business management. The Academy actively encourages women to attend the technical and managerial courses.
Speaking at the workshop, Andreas Follér, Sustainability Manager at Scania, said: “Our ambition is that these vocational training partnerships can spark systemic change that in the long run enables the local education system to provide a skilled workforce.”
UNIDO has formed similar partnerships with the Volvo Group, a global company manufacturing heavy duty construction and transport trucks, to transfer knowledge and support specialized skills development among young people. So far, they have established vocational training centres in Ethiopia, Morocco and Zambia.
“We want to help address young people’s wish for a better life, and for being a productive rather than a destructive force. If we can do more for the youth, there will be fewer problems with terrorism and corruption,” said Shewangezaw Lulie, General Manager of the Selam Vocational Training Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
More information on public-private development partnerships (PPDPs), please visit the LKDF website
UNIDO Industrial Development Officer