Kenya Country Director Lillian Mwai gave a speech in which she articulated how Swisscontact in collaboration with the Hilti Foundation created new training opportunities offering essential professional skills to young people working in the construction sector. Swisscontact initiated collaboration between local businesses, training institutes, participating vocational schools, and the Ministry of Education to launch the vocational education course for electricians and plumbers in 2022. The new dual, apprenticeship-based training model in Kenya has immense potential to create sustainable impacts above and beyond the construction sector.
In another presentation, Bangladesh Country Director Mujibul Cezanne Hasan explained how a Swisscontact Bangladesh project is training garment sector management and workers in environmentally-friendly technologies. The goal is to equip businesses for environmental change and to make their supply chains more sustainable. This improves job security and living conditions for workers.
Young people in Guatemala often have no access to education and thus to employment. The Swisscontact project, which was presented by Guatemala Country Director Carlos Morales Cajas, works together with businesses, research institutes, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to create practical training courses for the IT and food sectors. Both fast-growing sectors are helping significantly to limit outward migration.
Around 50 invitees from the fields of international development cooperation, science, foundations, and international companies discussed whether the situation is actually as implied in the event title: “Power shift – How the private sector is driving change in state-led education systems.” Traditionally, education in developing countries has been the state’s responsibility. In the meantime, and thanks in part to such projects, the private sector has recognised that it needs to play an active role in order to bring about the change needed. In the end, vocational education is not only useful to workers, but to business and the companies themselves.
By focussing on unleashing the potential of private initiatives, Swisscontact provides opportunities for companies to collaborate on specific projects and initiatives. This is an asset to build their image and reputation and reach new markets.