USAID and Volvo Partner on Morocco Workforce Training Academy

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 21, 2014
USAID Press Office
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: | Twitter: @USAIDPress

MARRAKECH, Morocco - The U.S. Agency for International Development and Volvo Group announced today a public-private partnership to operate a training academy in Morocco that will promote economic growth, youth employment and gender equality in North and West Africa.

The academy will train 150 students each year from Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, focusing on maintenance of industrial and commercial equipment. Training will also include technology and general business skills to prepare graduates to enter the modern workforce– either employed by local or multinational companies like Volvo, or as entrepreneurs running their own businesses.

The partnership with Volvo Group, announced by USAID at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morocco, includes the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Moroccan Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training and the Office Chèrifien des Phosphates Foundation (OCPF).

"This training center – one of at least 10 to be built in Africa – allows Volvo to combine a development agenda with a solid business goal," said Niklas Gustavsson, Volvo’s Executive Vice President for Sustainability and Public Affairs. "We found USAID is an excellent partner."

The partnership will modernize and increase the capacity of the training academy in Settat, Morocco. The academy will provide skills training in basic and advanced heavy equipment mechanics; computer, language and sales training; business management; and “soft skills”such as teamwork, effective communication, organization of work, taking initiative and decision-making. At least 30 percent of the students will be female, and the academy will offer career services to help graduates find employment.

Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal host fast-growing industrial sectors but suffer from high youth unemployment. In Côte d’Ivoire, 24 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed, while in Morocco, 49 percent of individuals between 15 and 29 are neither in school nor in the workforce.

“With the public and private sector working together to provide youth with the skills employers need, these countries will accelerate progress towards their economic and social goals at a critical time,” said USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator Alina Romanowski.

The Volvo partnership is the latest USAID deal to build multi-stakeholder alliances with strategic partners in the public and private sectors, to achieve the US government’s broader development goals of ending extreme poverty and building resilient democratic societies.