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Monday, 02 June 2014

Liberian heavy equipment operator instructors get training in Japan

ITO, Japan, 2 June 2014 - Four instructors from a vocational training institution in Liberia have successfully completed a training course in the city of Itō, on the east coast of Japan.

The course, which took place at the Techno Training Centre, was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with Komatsu, a Japanese corporation that manufactures construction, mining and industrial equipment.

The four Liberians completed the instructor training course in the operation and maintenance of heavy equipment, including excavators, wheel loaders and bulldozers.

The one-month training course is part of a UNIDO project, funded by the Government of Japan, to establish the Japan Heavy Equipment Operator School in Liberia to help promote youth employment in the mining, construction, and agriculture sectors. The training centre will prepare students for future careers in the operation and maintenance of heavy equipment, which is presently in high-demand across all sectors in Liberia.

As a result of Liberia’s devastating civil war, vocational infrastructure that is critical to rebuilding the country has been left severely damaged. The country also faces potential difficulties as a result of increasing youth unemployment and a growing influx of returning refugees. While Liberia is now attracting significant foreign investment in key sectors, including mining, energy, road construction, agriculture and forestry, a lack of quality vocational education and well-trained technical personnel represent significant barriers to the creation of employment opportunities, thereby threatening the long-term stability of the country. 

Clement James, one of the Komatsu trainees said, “The training provided me with not only technical knowledge but also practical tips on how to make teaching more useful in my future work as a trainer at the Japan Heavy Equipment Operator School.”

Stavros Papastavrou, Chief Technical Advisor for UNIDO in Liberia, who helped facilitate this training, said, “We are very grateful to Komatsu and the Government of Japan for providing Liberians with such a unique opportunity to practice hands-on training, with highly skilled Japanese instructors, using the latest machinery.”

Komatsu played a critical role in delivering the training courses according to industrial standards for heavy equipment operation and in ensuring that the instructors achieved a level of competence to improve their capacity as trainers.

For more information, contact:

Stavros Papastavrou

UNIDO Project Manager

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