EBRD launches sector skills platform in Egypt’s electrical industry

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Stepping up the fight against youth unemployment in Egypt, the EBRD, together with business associations and donor support, is launching the first sector-skills platform for the electrical equipment and cable industry in Egypt.

Funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the initiative will devise strategies to improve skills of the labour force in the sector and facilitate cooperation between employers, public authorities, social partners and other stakeholders. Despite the overall decline of unemployment rate over the last two years in Egypt, youth unemployment in particular is still high at 32.6 per cent in 2018, and according to the International Labor Organization, is a contributing factor to emigration.

The platform will promote skills, human capital policies and national occupational standards by identifying gaps in technical skills and by helping to set up training programmes in coordination with vocational institutions and schools. It will also introduce specific qualifications and certifications of standards.

Egypt has seen historical development and investment in electricity power plants, energy and infrastructure with several megaprojects since 2014.The electrical equipment and cable subsector in Egypt has around 300 private sector companies, employing around 50,000 workers.

The launch event, took place in Cairo at the Embassy of Switzerland’s – Office for International Cooperation in Cairo. It comes in the context of a US$ 25 million EBRD loan to United Metal Company, including a commitment to skills improvement. Other participants in the platform will be the Federation of Egyptian Industries, the Chamber of Engineering Industries, private sector companies and the state administration.

Previously, the EBRD launched a technical cooperation project supported by SECO to enhance vocational training and skills standards with the El Sewedy Technical Academy (STA) in Cairo, established by the El Sewedy Group, the parent company of United Metal.

Egypt is a founding member of EBRD. Since the start of its operations in Egypt in 2012, the Bank has invested over €5 billion in 96 projects in the country. In 2018, Egypt was the largest EBRD country of operations in terms of new commitments.

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