UNIDO, Sweden, Volvo Group and Epiroc to boost TVET reform and skills development for youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

UNIDO, Sweden, Volvo Group and Epiroc to boost TVET reform and skills development for youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

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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 (DRC).  The partnership includes the DRC’s Ministry of Primary, Secondary, and Technical Education, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Industry. 

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 “Appui à la formation et à l’emploi qualifié dans le secteur des engins lourds de la République démocratique du Congo” (PAFEQ-RDC) will improve youth’s access to skilled labour opportunities in the heavy-duty industrial equipment sector in the Haut-Katanga and the Lualaba 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 Services Machinery Trucks (SMT), which distributes Volvo heavy machinery in the DRC, to increase the capacities of the partner training centres. 

Accordingly, the project will support two vocational training centres 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.  

“Being part of Epiroc DRC for ten years, I have seen the importance of training to secure local competence and be competitive in the growing mining segment”, said Kennedy Ngandu, Business Line Manager at Epiroc DRC. “I am very proud that Epiroc is contributing to this important initiative to support the youth in DRC. Sustainable development is a part of our DNA and this partnership is part of our commitment to the region”. 

The supported training centres 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. It will contribute to the Swedish International Development Agency’s (SIDA) strategy for the DRC and to UNIDO’s Country Program.  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.  For more information, please visit: https://www.sida.se/en

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. For more information, please visit: https://www.epiroc.com/

The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. SMT works in partnership with the Volvo Group to distribute such products. For more information, please visit www.volvogroup.com/ and https://www.smt.network/holding/

UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.  For more information please visit, www.unido.org

For more information on the project, please contact: Chie Matsumoto, Project Officer (e-mail)