Saturday, 20 July 2013

UNIDO project graduates vulnerable youth as welders, mechanics and electricians in Liberia

BUCHANAN, Liberia, 20 July 2013 – After nine months of technical training, 166 young men and women in Liberia graduated today as welders, heavy vehicle mechanics and electricians. This is one of the results of a project by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) that is supported by the Government of Japan and implemented in cooperation with Grand Bassa Community College and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 

“Technical skills such as those learnt by these students are in demand in places like Buchanan, where there is a growing presence of employers in the mining and oil sector”, says Etweda Cooper, Superintendent of the county of Grand Bassa. “The skills they have learnt will enable them to secure employment in some of these companies, or even set up their own businesses.”

The course covered arc welding, the use of oxygen and acetylene, tools and materials, engine assembly and disassembly, and electricity. Graduates received a start-up kit, which comprised of basic welding and mechanic tools, to enable them to continue practicing their trade or start-up a small enterprise. 

Naoto Nikai, Ambassador of Japan, described this type of project as “crucial” in that it “gives tools for life and instills a sense of empowerment in people”.

The training course is the first in a series of training programmes and capacity-building initiatives that will be conducted with the support of UNIDO. The Organization will also support the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to strengthen technical and vocational training centers through developing curricula, setting up or rehabilitating physical structures, and providing training equipment.         

Similar training courses will be offered to vulnerable youth to boost self-employment, stimulate the creation of enterprises and generate more income opportunities in the agriculture, forestry, mining, manufacturing and services sectors.

For more information, please contact:

Stavros Papastavrou
Project Manager, UNIDO Agro-Industries Technology Unit