Festo Didactic, the WorldSkills Foundation and UNIDO host annual workshop on public-private development partnerships and the future of industrial skills

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the WorldSkills Foundation and Festo Didactic convened the Annual Meeting of the Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF), which was hosted in Festo’s Technologiefabrik in Scharnhausen, Germany.

More than 30 public and private representatives, including from donor agencies and vocational training centres, participated in the two-day event and were encouraged to reflect upon the paradigm shift generated by Industry 4.0 and its implications on skills development, vocational training programmes and partnerships. “Education is a prerequisite for people to take part in their country’s industrial development and UNIDO’s LKDF has proven to be a solid partnership platform”, said Juergen Hierold, Chief of UNIDO’s Partnership Coordination Division.

In addition to sharing best practices and lessons learnt from across the globe, in particular from developing countries, participants reflected on new concepts and possibilities for potential public-private development partnerships. “Adapting to the changing economy cannot be performed alone”, added Tian Chen Clausen from Scania CV AB, “only through partnerships can we meaningfully move forward”. “Industry 4.0 is not a matter of technology, it is one of connections”, said Nader Imani, Festo Didactic’s Executive Vice President for Global Education, “and the more we work together, the more certain we are that it was the right idea to create the LKDF in 2012”.

UNIDO’s LKDF 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 labor market’s increasing demand for skilled employees. Under this initiative, partnerships have been formed with public bodies and business sector companies, for the creation of vocational training programmes in Iraq, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa, Uruguay, Zambia and Liberia.

For more information on public-private development partnerships (PPDPs), please contact:

Virpi Stucki

UNIDO Industrial Development Officer