MISALE – Creating Opportunities Through Vocational Training
In Ethiopia, road traffic injuries claim more than 20,000 lives each year, making it one of the countries with the highest road death rates in the world. The unsafe situation on the roads does not only affect public health and safety but also has major implications for development, costing Ethiopia approximately 1% of its’ GDP each year. The government of Ethiopia has responded to the challenges, making traffic safety a high priority in its recently adopted second Growth and Transformation Plan. This is in line, with SDG 11 of the 2030 Agenda calling for “access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons” (Target 11.2).
In many regards, commercial vehicle drivers (CVD) are at the center of Ethiopia’s efforts to improve road safety and to ensure inclusive development for all. Limitations in driving skills lead to high accident rates, often with fatal consequences, putting both the drivers and other traffic participants at risk. With limited access to comprehensive and professional CVD education, drivers lack skills and competencies that would allow them to adequately perform job-related tasks. Furthermore, low technical and maintenance knowledge and skills contribute to high numbers of break downs and high costs for repairs and replacements. Their limited specialized training and competencies and the high substitutability in the profession put drivers in an overall weak position on the labor market. CVDs are often faced with precarious and insecure working conditions, long working hours, and high levels of work-related stress.
The present report summarizes the findings of a representative survey among commercial vehicle drivers (CVD) in Ethiopia. The survey was implemented as part of the UNIDO project “Training Institute for Commercial Vehicle Drivers (CVDs) in Ethiopia: A private-public partnership project to support specialized skills development in Ethiopia” (SAP 140347). The project aims at (i) increasing road safety in Ethiopia by providing CVD technical and vocational training at international standards, (ii) improving the employment and work situation of CVDs and strengthening their position on the labor market, and ultimately (iii) improving the health and well-being of the drivers. The report highlights the importance of good quality driver training and education for promoting safe driving among CVDs and for improving various work-related outcomes, such as drivers’ technical knowledge and skills, occupational health, and labor market opportunities.