Barloworld Equipment and Caterpillar aim to help address Africa’s shortage of technicians with the launch today of their free foundation-training programme, Technicians for Africa, in Tete Province, Mozambique.

We know there is undiscovered talent out there, so we particularly aim to facilitate entry to technical training and careers for disadvantaged students, school leavers and job seekers. We are delighted that this initiative in Mozambique has already attracted 650 participants, says Vasco Santos, COO of Barloworld Equipment, Mozambique.

The Technicians for Africa programme gives free online training at foundational level in both Portuguese and English. All participants who successfully complete the free programme receive a SAQA-approved foundational certification as Cat® Certified Technicians. Anyone with access to a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer can take part in the training, which consists of 18 one-hour modules. This e-learning programme is also available at onsite workstations in the company’s drop-in facility, the Barloworld Equipment Container Computer Lab. Technicians for Africa is a joint initiative between Caterpillar and Barloworld Equipment, one of the world’s leading Caterpillar dealers.

We believe this is an opportunity for would-be technicians to learn from the best and come out armed with a foundational qualification that will help them start a sustainable career,” says  Santos. “This year Barloworld Equipment celebrates 90 years of partnership with Caterpillar. For us, Technicians for Africa is a pledge to the futures of our companies and even more importantly to the future of our continent. The Technicians for Africa programme is designed to cover topics such as the basics of safety and the fundamentals of engines and of electrical and hydraulic systems.

We have worked with the Mozambican Instituto do Emprego e Formacão Profissional (INEFP) to create a programme that reaches potential talent even in remote rural areas and that aligns with the objectives of the Mozambican Strategic Education Plan,” says Santos. “As part of that, we particularly hope that young women will be enthusiastic participants in the Technicians for Africa programme.

Barloworld Equipment and Caterpillar believe that the programme will acts as a portal to productive and empowering careers, with greater job security for participants.

We also hope that some Technicians for Africa graduates will enjoy the opportunity of participating in Barloworld Equipment’s apprentice programme, ultimately joining us in our mission to deliver innovative solutions for exceptional performance through our people,” says Santos. We are honoured that the Governor of Tete Province, the Provincial Director of the Ministry of Labour, other representatives of local authorities and of the INEFP accepted our invitation to celebrate this momentous launch with us. The launch of this innovative training programme is proof of our commitment to improve Africa’s skills base and drive economic development, concludes Santos.”