Acute shortage of electricity is a major problem that India faces currently. About 71% of electricity is generated from non-renewable resources which results in death from indoor pollution and carbon monoxide burning. However, India simultaneously possesses a huge potential for solar power generation. However, developments in the field of solar energy are met with the challenge of finding people with expertise in the field.
Co-financed by DEG and Phocos, and implemented by ASSIST, ENACT aimed to set up a solar academy to develop skilled technicians from among women and youth of rural areas through a well-structured training program. The larger aim of the project was to take a step towards addressing the problem of acute shortage of electricity in India through renewable energy alternatives.
Over the course of two years, ENACT has created mass awareness among the public on the use of solar energy and its efficiency when compared to other energy sources through various mobilization and awareness campaigns. This project informed more than 800 students in the fields of IT, science and engineering on solar energy and technology. Moreover, ENACT trained 141 students, of which 45 were women, as solar technicians and more than 50 trainers. Dealership was given to several solar technicians who started their own enterprises.
The agricultural sector of the Philippines comprises 30% of the workforce and about 12 million people. Challenges from resource depletion, social exclusion and lack of access to technology among others, continue to affect the worsening agro-economic trend in the country. Given this, the national roadmap for the cocoa sector has been set to increase production tenfold, providing sustainable incomes for as many as 130,000 Filipino farmers.
Capacitating Cacao Farmers in Mindanao is a project under the DeveloPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with DEG and Yara Fertilizers Philippines Inc. It is implemented to address cacao farmers’ limited capacity to meet industry demand due to low productivity. This is mainly due to the shortage of viable planting materials and the farmers’ lack of knowledge on crop nutrition, good agricultural practices (GAPs) and post-harvest handling.
The project also aims to increase the efficiency of farmers in cacao production through Yara’s crop nutrition solutions and effective crop handling. Twenty-five local farmers will be trained to become cacao specialists, who will, in turn, provide crop nutrition training to 50 cacao farmers. In addition, model farms will be established and post-harvest processing facilities will be set up in partnership with selected rural-based cooperatives in the area. Through these strategies, the yield of farmers is expected to increase by at least 25 percent and the selling price of the processed beans to increase by at least 10 percent. Eventually, the project will contribute to the country’s achievement of its national target, which is to produce 100,000 MT of dried fermented beans by 2022.
The construction boom in Vietnam, especially in the urban areas, is providing more business opportunities for the elevator/escalator (mobility) industry. For a fast developing country like Vietnam, raising the awareness of workplace safety & workplace productivity (efficiency) can be considered as a crucial part for sustainable growth and align local workforce standard to that of the developed world.
ASSIST, in partnership with Schindler Vietnam has collaborated on a project called ELEVATE Vietnam whose objective is to raise awareness and transfer knowledge on safe and energy efficient use and deployment of elevators and escalators to minimize health risks that result from malfunction and incorrect use. Activities related to the project consist of collection, assessment and evaluation of current training program, subsequent actions to improve the training curricula, creation of training materials with support from Schindler experts and parallel translation, the identification of representatives for each target group of the project (public users, suppliers, customers, relevant ministry/departments/agencies, government officials, universities and students) and conduction of training on safety and energy efficiency.
The project aims to achieve these lasting impacts: improvements in the training of technical workforce will bring benefits in terms of higher employment rate, fewer accidents, and an enabled private sector. The trainers will be better capacitated and connected to provide relevant and targeted training. Moreover, the project is expected to benefit the wider society as end-users of elevators and escalators, which would now be safer to use and continuously maintained for lesser disruptions. With 50% of the work done, it aims to deliver before the end of 2018, the successful establishment of training courses and execution of the awareness campaign and training on the safe and efficient use of elevators and escalators.
Vietnam has approximately 53 million workers, 83.5 percent of which are manual laborers without any vocational certificates (especially, in the elevator services industry). A report by World Bank shows that Vietnam currently ranks on the bottom half of the rankings on ASEAN labor force development.
ASSIST, together with KONE Vietnam LLC, developed a project called PROMPT to improve and promote technical training in Vietnam through a dual education model and advance safety and quality of testing and maintaining elevator service. It aims at motivating students and existing workforce to think and focus on the quality of their labor, in a sense, becoming technicians instead of just manual workforce as mechanics. The goal of the project is to enhance the skills and attitudes of technical workers, attempting a shift towards taking pride in quality or work and skills improvement.
The project team has commenced working on the development of the training curricula based on the existing agenda and improved it according to a collected feedback from potential employers of the students in the private sector. A complete needs and requirements assessment will be conducted to evaluate the biggest gaps in education and enhance the employability of the graduates. For sustainability, the partner training academy will be capacitated to run the improved training program by training their trainers. The same course will be targeting trainers from other technical schools as well and include senior experts in the field, who can continue with in-company advance training programs. Currently, a training program for electricians with sessions within the private sector is being implemented. Additionally, the KONE Training Center at the College has commenced development.
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for a large majority of establishments in the Philippines, employing 70% of the total labor force. Undeniably, MSMEs constitute the backbone of the economy, playing a key role in the country’s growth and development. Nevertheless, local MSMEs in food production and processing have a small presence in the Philippine market. Most food products available in local retail chains are produced in neighboring Asian countries. The problem is that development of the sector is hindered by uncoordinated and outdated professional and technical qualifications for MSMEs as well as a lack of adequate public action against noncompliance with food regulations and standards.
ASSIST partnered with TÜV Rheinland, SEQUA, the University of the Philippines Institute for Small Scale Industries (UP-ISSI) and AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation to implement Pro-FIT. The project aimed to enhance the capacity of local MSMEs in the food and beverage industry, to improve competitiveness in local and foreign markets. This was done by creating awareness and addressing the benefits of food safety regulations and standards, and implementing a variety of qualification courses on food safety regulations and standards through the coordinated effort from relevant stakeholders.
By the end of the project, five courses were developed with curriculum and training materials for the pilot implementation and certification of the diploma courses. These courses included Certified Quality Associate, Diploma in Food Safety Management, Certification Programme on Good Manufacturing Practices, Certified Food Safety Professional and Basics of Food Safety, and Hygiene and Food Handling; and have been absorbed into UP-ISSI’s regular course offerings to students. ASSIST and partners also executed Train-the-Trainer workshops for 30 trainers coming from UP-ISSI, the Philippine Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Trade Training Center and other TVET centers in the country. Additionally, basic courses were administered to 200 operators from 10 MSMEs. The overall impact of this project increases the chances of MSMEs in the food and beverage sector to better enter domestic and foreign markets and contribute to the growing economy of the Philippines.