As in many developing countries, the energy supply infrastructure in Zambia is outdated and cannot meet the increasing demand by industry and private households. The Zambian government has therefore launched large infrastructure programmes for energy supply. However, potential investors such as electricity suppliers or grid operators have great difficulties in realising projects because there is a lack of qualified personnel to plan and implement projects, such as electricity transmission and distribution. At the same time, student numbers in the relevant engineering courses have been declining for years. Hitachi ABB Power Grids is also confronted with the problem of a shortage of skilled workers and, as part of the project, aimed to modernise engineering courses and make them more attractive to young people. If more school leavers are interested in the future-oriented professions, it will be easier for the company to recruit qualified personnel for its own projects in the future.
In order to fundamentally modernise the power engineering course at UNZA with the involvement of Copperbelt University (CBU) in northern Zambia, the project partners implemented the following measures, among others, from 2016 to 2019 with a total project volume of just over 1.3 million euros:
Installation of a modern transformer station as a training facility on the UNZA premises.
Further training of lecturers and technicians on modern standards in teaching.
Qualification of master trainers for the topics of occupational health and safety, methodology and didactics.
Practical training at the training switchgear.
Establishment of a trainee programme at Hitachi ABB Power Grids locations in Germany, Sweden, Finland, India and Switzerland.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids contributed its technology expertise to the project together with other partners. DEG provided start-up financing and advised with experts on site.
The modernisation of the degree programmes significantly improves graduates' chances on the labour market. As a hiring company, we benefit from the reduced training effort for new employees and the increasing number of qualified local professionals in the coming years.
In future, young engineers will receive practical training at UNZA while using state-of-the-art technology for a wide range of applications such as engineering, project management, service, maintenance or commissioning. During the two-year programme, trainees at Hitachi ABB Power Grids pass through the areas of sales, project and product management, production and development. These qualification measures improve graduates' prospects on the local Zambian and international labour market. At the same time, the training effort for new employees at the hiring companies is reduced, with more qualified skilled workers available overall.
develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.