Revitalizing TVET in the DRC: Public-private partnership for industrial skills development and youth employment kicks off

Partners reinforce their support at official launch events and TVET trainers receive innovating training to prepare youth for the workplace.

Project Partners Reinforce their Support at Official Launch Events

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), UNIDO, the Government of Sweden, the Government of the DRC, Volvo Group and Epiroc have joined forces to address skills gaps and promote youth employment in the heavy-duty equipment sector.  

During the project’s official launch events, on 2 October 2023 in Lubumbashi and 5 October in Kolwezi, the partners reinforced their commitment to this partnership initiative that aims to facilitate systemic TVET reforms. 

“Empowering young people with the right skills for jobs is essential for inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” emphasized Jean Bakole, UNIDO Regional Director for Central and West Africa. “This innovative public-private partnership represents the collective action needed to revitalize TVET systems and build sustainable industries.”

Photo: Jean Bakole, UNIDO Regional Director for Central and West Africa

The public-private partnership involves key stakeholders engaged in TVET, including the Ministry of Primary, Secondary, and Technical Education, the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security, and the Ministry of Industry. At the launch event in Lubumbashi, the Congolese government welcomed the public-private partnership as part of its strategy to boost youth employment and effectively bridge skills gaps. “Investing in key sectors such as heavy equipment maintenance offers young Congolese the means to develop relevant skills and access the labour market,” highlighted Claudine Ndusi M’kembe, Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security 

Sweden, which is providing significant funding for the project, underlined the importance of partnering for skills development in the DRC. Henric Råsbrant, Sweden’s Ambassador to the DRC, stated, “Sweden is proud to support this project that will equip Congolese youth with the skills and competencies they need to thrive in their personal and professional lives. We also welcome this partnership for the socio-economic development of the DRC, which is an excellent example of cooperation between the public and private sectors.”  

During this five-year project, specialized training programmes will be developed in collaboration with industry partners to enhance the employability of young professionals in the Haut-Katanga and the Lualaba provinces. Two vocational training centres, the National Institute for Professional Training (INPP) in Lubumbashi and the Institut Technique Industriel de Manika (ITIMA) in Kolwezi, are being supported with upgraded facilities, training equipment and modernized curricula to deliver high-quality training that aligns with the labour market’s needs. The project will contribute to the government’s efforts to reform TVET by promoting public-private collective action to ensure project innovations are replicated in other schools, trades, and regions. 

Photo: As part of the launch event, project partners made a site-visit to SMT in Lubumbashi


Innovative Training Empowers TVET Trainers to Prepare Youth for the Workplace 

The project is actively strengthening the capacity of the vocational training centres that will deliver the modernized curricula. Building upon their 5-week study tour to Morocco earlier this year, eight trainers from the National Institute for Professional Training (INPP) in Lubumbashi are currently receiving advanced training at SMT, the exclusive distributor of Volvo Group in the DRC. Over a 6-week period, the INPP trainers are shadowing qualified SMT mechanics, technicians, and engineers in their workplace. This innovative training equips the TVET trainers with practical, hands-on experience in heavy-duty equipment maintenance, and gives them exposure to the professional environment they will be preparing Congolese youth for.  

Photo: INPP Trainer receives training from an SMT Technician during the 6-week work placements


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