“I now have a certificate that proves I am a professional and attests to my skills as an electrician”

Labour market insertion
35-year-old Salésio Mahuntsane, born in Maputo City and resident in Boquisso, has been an electrician for over 10 years and was certified in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in 2021. For 10 years, Salésio worked as an electrician without any certification, a fact that made him lose many opportunities to work for formal institutions. Companies want to be sure that the hired electricians are competent because dealing with electricity requires various precautions, since when the proper safety procedures are neglected this energy source can cause not only property damage but can also be fatal or cause irrecoverable injuries. For this reason, there is a lot of rigour in hiring electricians. 

1. How did you find out about the RPL evaluation process?

Through a friend, I heard about the RPL assessment and saw it as an opportunity to recognise my experience and opportunity to respond to the problem of lost employment opportunity.

2. What was your motivation for participating in the RPL evaluation process?

It was difficult to do the Electricity course in a vocational training centre due to its duration - which is 6 months or more, per level - making it unviable for someone who had a family to look after and who could not paralyse the activities on which their livelihood depended. The RPL assessment process, on the other hand, had a flexible programme, which did not require a complete halt of their work.  

3. How was the evaluation process?

The RPL evaluation process was an opportunity to show what I knew and to learn new techniques and the value of teamwork, as well as exchange experiences. We also discussed the importance of using personal protective equipment and of planning activities. These learnings have greatly changed my way of working and negotiating with clients. My work became more practical and profitable.

4. What were the main challenges encountered in the evaluation process? How did you respond to these challenges?

In this assessment process, there were some constraints caused by a stoppage due to the COVID-19 prevention measures. This complicated my activities a little since the assessment process did not take place as initially planned. However, the certification was worth it, as I can now identify myself as a master in the area of electricity, without any constraints by customers. I now have a certificate that proves I am a professional and attests to my skills in the area. In addition, I am more confident in providing services.

5. What was the impact of the RPL assessment (certification) on your socio-professional life?

The certification has had a positive social, economic and technical impact on my life. I could acquire a recognised professional identity and increase the number of workers, thus creating employment opportunities for young people in his community, in addition to inspiring them to follow the same path - that of RPL assessment. I increased my monthly income by 25% and consequently was able to improve the living conditions of my family. I learnt techniques that ensure greater flexibility and efficiency in delivering my services. For example, instead of doing everything myself I divide the work between the helpers.

6. What is your point of view regarding RPL certification in the country?

The RPL is an advantage for the community and the country in general, as there are many masters without certification in the area. This leads to clients devaluing the masters’ skills and avoiding their services. In addition, the assessment raises masters’ awareness of the importance of safety at work because electricity work is risky; it can cause material and human damage. This process is practical, demands little time and enables the master to continue their work for a long period.

"Recognising the skills I have acquired is a great gain. The way of working, of negotiating the value of work and my commitment has automatically changed."

The Skills to Build project is financed by Happel Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA. 

Upskilling and Reskilling, Labour market insertion
Skills to Build
In close collaboration with the private sector, the project promotes improved competitiveness in the construction sector through specific training measures. In this way, the employment conditions and incomes of 470 already employed construction workers are to be improved or increased. In addition, 1 150 unskilled unemployed youth interested in...