Unemployment is a persistent problem in Ethiopia, especially among youth. Most of the workforce, around 35 million people, have very low levels of educational attainment and are engaged in low skilled work. Technical vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, established to improve the quality of human resources in the country, are often of low quality and theory driven due to resource constraints and a lack of skilled technical teachers. These educational establishments are also ill-prepared to adjust to changing labour market demands and cannot keep pace with the rapidly increasing demand for trained manpower in sectors such as construction and commercial vehicles maintenance.
Volvo, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and UNIDO have partnered to support and modernize the Selam Technical and Vocational College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and to establish a Heavy Duty Equipment and Commercial Vehicles Academy (HDECoVA).
HDECoVA is the first state of the art vocational training for heavy machinery in Ethiopia. The academy trains 25-40 students a year. During the courses students access modern machinery and also do courses in English and Information Technology. In order to address the lack of responsiveness to the demands of the labour market, the project is linking the conventional theoretical classroom training with practical experiences in the workshop and the private sector through cooperative training. The project’s current focus is on developing a pilot model that can be scaled-up and followed by other vocational training centres.