The lack of a central facility to carry out all Technical Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) for unskilled youth and school dropouts has been a major issue for Liberia’s TVET sector over the years.
But that will soon be over as the European Union (EU) and the Federal Republic of Germany have agreed to provide US$10m to construct a National TVET Center that will bring huge relief and benefit to many young Liberians desirous of obtaining TVET training and skills.
The center’s construction project will be implemented by the German Cooperation, GIZ with direct funding from the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
At a Private Sector TVET Day in Monrovia Monday, GIZ Project Director Matthias Schroeder said the joint-multi donor action project is basically intended to provide the needed support for the TVET sector in Liberia by constructing a central site that will bring together all training for the benefit of Liberia.
Mr. Schroeder said improving Liberia’s TVET sector is as important as improving all other development sectors of the country.
He added that t establishment of a National TVET Center will contribute to job creation for young people and establish a performance-based vocational training system in Liberia.
EU Ambassador and Head of the EU delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse said the European Union remains one of Liberia’s strongest partners in the development of the country.
Ambassador Delahousse said the EU is in the country to give its fullest support to the Liberian Government as it strives to deliver much-needed assistance to its citizens.
The EU Ambassador said the Union is also supporting Liberia in fostering cooperation between Liberia and European nations, adding that is why the EU is contributing to the construction of a national TVET in Liberia.
He noted that the EU sees the empowerment of young people in Liberia through a well-structured TVET program as one of the best ways to improve and strengthen the country’s economy and better the lives of, especially young people.
Also speaking at the Private Sector TVET Day, Acting Public Works Minister Ruth Cooker-Collins described the project as a huge boost for Liberia TVET sector and the young people.
She said the performance of the TVET sector is essential to many other sectors of Liberia which are in dying need of skilled and technical people.
Describing the project as a critical building block for Liberia, the acting Public Works Minister noted that the project, when fully implemented, will massively support the government’s developmental goals.
Representatives at the Private Sector TVET Day, organized by the GIZ were drawn from entities involved with technical and vocational activities. They expressed joy for the initiative and promised to work with GIZ in achieving the project.
As part of citizens’ involvement with the project, GIZ and other stakeholders organized a special national competition and give notification for Liberians to put forth the name and motto for the proposed TVET center.
A panel comprising GIZ and other stakeholders vetted several entries, with Federick Nimene emerging as the winner of the name competition with his entry: “Gateway Vocational Training Center” while Joe N. Dennis was voted winner of the motto competition with the slogan: “Building Capacity for a Better Liberia”. Both winners are citizens of Bentol City of Bensonville, Montserrado County, and proposed venue for construction of the National TVET Center to be known as the Gateway Vocational Training Center. The two winners were presented with an AO2 Galaxy phone each for winning the competition.
GIZ, which has over the years worked with government and local partners in supporting TVET activities in the country, commissioned a road map in December 2020 to seek support for the establishment of a national TVET center. It is the road map that has led to the European Union and the German Government coming together to provide the US$10m for the construction of the center. The construction works are expected to kick off in October this year, with the first training cycle commencing in October 2022.
The structure, when erected, will be placed under the leadership of the private sector associations of Liberia, which include the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC), Engineering Society of Liberia (ESOL), and the Liberian Institute of Architects (LIA) with a steering committee headed by government’s TVET sector agencies and other international partners.
When completed, the Center will focus on capacity development and demand-driven TVET activities for about two hundred students per term.