GVTC Celebrates Grand Opening and First Graduation Ceremony in Bentol

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The GIZ CDTS Project informs the public with great delight that the official opening ceremony of the Gateway Vocational Training Center (GVTC) has taken place on Monday, May 06, 2024 in Bentol City.  The event was held at the new state-of-the-art GVTC training center in Bentol City and was graced by the presence of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Public Works and Youth and Sports as well as the Ambassadors of Germany and the European Union, the Senator of Montserrado County, as well as several representatives from the private sector and several other TVET stakeholders.  The Gateway Vocational Training Center (GVTC) is a newly established vocational training center, led and owned by three private sector associations, the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC), the Engineering Society of Liberia (ESoL) and the Liberian Institute of Architects (LIA).  The establishment of the GVTC has been supported with funding from the European Union and the German Government under the “TVET by the Private Sector” project under the “EU Support to Demand-Driven Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Young People in Liberia” totaling 8.95m Euros (5.75m EUR from the EU and 3.2m EUR from the German Government).  International cooperating partners have successfully collaborated with their local counterparts, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, on the establishment of the GVTC. The “TVET by the Private Sector” project has been implemented by GIZ under its “Capacity Development for the Transport Sector” (CDTS) project with technical support and advisory services offered by Integration Management Consulting as a sub-contractor of GIZ.  GVTC aims to provide accessible and comprehensive vocational education to empower individuals and communities with the skills needed for sustainable livelihoods, economic empowerment and development.  The grand opening ceremony commenced with speeches from several stakeholders and an official hand-over of the facilities with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, symbolizing the inauguration of this innovative educational institution.  In her remarks during the official opening and graduation ceremony, H.E. Nona Deprez, the EU Head of Delegation, stated that “the European Union is working to ensure that young Liberian particularly women and girls have skills that will empower them, give them a livelihood that they can depend on.  These skills are intended to make them independent so that they contribute in a meaningful way to society”. H.E. Dr. Jakob Haselhuber, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, highlighted the competency-based vocational training approach applied by the GVTC as well as the fact that “the training programme has been inspired by Germany’s dual education system in TVET, which combines apprenticeship in a company with vocational training at a vocational school.”. Hon. Laraamand Shenkin Nyonton, Deputy Minister for TVET of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and member on the Board of the Directors of GVTC highlighted in his speech that “today, we celebrate not only the achievements of the graduates but also the opportunities that lie ahead for the youth of our nation.”  He stated that “the establishment of the GVTC is a testament to our joint commitment to youth empowerment through vocational training.” Co-funded by the European Union The about 2.4 million USD construction of the GVTC training facility was carried out by Real Estate and Construction Corporation (RESCO) Inc. under the supervision of the project’s architect Alliance Consulting Engineers, Planners and Surveyors. The training facility comprises of 2.25 acres of land at Bentol City, a total of nine buildings, including workshops, classrooms, an administration building, a dining hall, dormitories and staff accommodation.  The training facility provides space for up to 240 trainees. Speaking on behalf of the owners of the GVTC, Ms. Jocelia Taplah, Board Chairperson of the GVTC reaffirmed their “commitment to innovation, sustainability, and service excellence” and their will to ensure “the long-term success and sustainability of the GVTC”.  Mr. Derek Upstone, representing Firestone Liberia acknowledged the strong partnership between the GVTC and Firestone and informed the audience that Firestone made available their former wood processing plant to the GVTC to establish a satellite campus for woodworks related trades such as carpentry, joinery and furniture making.  GVTC’s link to Liberia’s development agenda The GVTC supports the Liberian government with the objective to respond to skills gaps among Liberian youths and by offering demand-driven training and promoting youth employment in the construction sector. Consequently, the development of all GVTC curricula was benchmarked against the draft Liberia National TVET Qualification Framework (LNQF), utilizing the competency-based education and training (CBET) methodology for technical and vocational education and training. The GVTC offers a critical support to the Government of Liberia’s ARREST Agenda, contributing specifically to its third pillar on Human Capacity Development with the sub-target to diversify and promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The GVTC focuses on three construction related trades and currently offers vocational training in Electrical and Solar Installation, Plumbing & Pipefitting and Road Maintenance and Construction as well as several short courses. Firestone Liberia, a member on the Board of Directors since April 2023, announced a cooperation between GVTC and Firestone in which a fourth group of trades focusing on wood working will be introduced in the coming weeks.  GIZ CDTS project would like to thank all their partners and all participants for their ongoing support and interest. We are delighted to have laid the foundation for the future of this unique facility together with all our partners as an important step in the fight against poverty and youth unemployment. We are looking forward to the bright future of the GVTC and the great impact this facility will have in the practical training of a new generation of construction workers.

 

 

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