proWOOD - Promoting Competence in Wood Technology

Country: Rwanda
Client: Sequa / BMZ
Project duration: 11/21 - 11/24
Overall project value:  1.400.000,00 € 

Background of proWOOD

The project "proWOOD - Promoting Competence in Wood Technology" is a PartnerAfrica-Project within the framework of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation of the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) between Internationaler Bund e.V. (IB) and TVET institutions and business associations of the wood sector in Rwanda. The aim of the special initiative is to use innovative formats and flexible instruments to strengthen the conditions for private investment and to create more and better employment opportunities for the rapidly growing young population in Africa. sequa is responsible to the BMZ for the implementation and quality management of the PartnerAfrica projects.

Rwanda has been considered one of Africa's emerging economies in recent years: until the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's economy grew between 6% and 7% annually for many years. Agriculture, retail and construction are the largest employers, providing around 60% of jobs in Rwanda. Economic growth in recent years has been accompanied by improvements in living standards. However, not everyone benefits from the increased prosperity. The majority of the population still works in agriculture and earns a low income. The number of young people entering the labour market is steadily increasing. The government's goal is therefore to develop employment prospects for these people outside agriculture, especially in the rural regions. The wood industry is considered one of the key sectors in this regard.

The sector has significant employment potential and also offers options for labour-intensive production in small enterprises (SMEs). The vocational education and training (TVET) system has been undergoing a continuous reform process for several years. The government aims to increase the share of young people in TVET to 60% by 2024. To achieve this, TVET training must be even more closely aligned with the needs of the labour market, cooperation with enterprises must be intensified, curricula must be updated, teaching staff must be trained and TVET institutions must be prepared accordingly

Objectives of proWOOD

The overall objective of the project is: "The innovation and competitiveness of SMEs in the value-added timber industry with a focus on Western Province have been strengthened and the employability of local young people and skilled workers in the sector has been improved." The project objective is: "Selected Rwandan TVET institutions and associations are able to provide innovative education and training courses for young people and skilled workers in the value-added wood industry, thus strengthening the productive capacities of Rwandan SMEs and accompanying their innovations."

Approach

The project aims to create human resource and competence development through education and training for professionals in the field of planning, production and assembly for climate-neutral load-bearing timber structures according to international standards in Rwanda. This will be done through the development of standardised training modules in cooperation with national and international education experts as well as the use of digital media and subsequently the practice-oriented implementation of the training modules in different course formats. In order to facilitate the transition of graduates into employment, cooperation with specialised companies in the conception and implementation of the training modules, some of which are interdisciplinary, is already taking place during the training.

The regional focus of the project is on Rubengera/Western Province, where there is already a network of competent, nationally well-connected actors in the timber sector, following on from preliminary work by GIZ/EcoEmploi.

The project works on national level together with IPRC Kitabi, Rubengera Technical Campus (RTC) and Rwanda Wood Value Chain Association (RWVCA). It will be supported by its German counterparts University of Applied Sciences Mittelhessen (THM), Bundesbildungszentrum Kassel (BuBiZa) and FingerHaus GmbH.

Type of Services Provided

  • Development of an integrated training concept together with companies that can be incorporated into existing formal curricula
  • Further training of teachers and/or company trainers (multipliers) on innovative contents of wood technology
  • Implementation of training measures for management or training staff of the partners (multipliers) on digitalisation in wood education and strengthening of digital competences
  • Analysis of the competence and training needs of MSMEs and SMEs in the wood industry (at all levels) for the implementation of planned product and process innovations
  • Analysis of existing curricula and syllabi and identification of existing gaps
  • Development of an integrated training concept with companies (e.g. master trainer and master technician programme) to embed the training modules in the existing curricula (especially levels 4-7)
  • Development or content and didactic reformation of training modules within the framework of this training concept
  • Exchange of know-how between the Rwandan and German partners on the use of e-learning and other digital and innovative possibilities of training in the wood sector
  • Adaptation of existing and development of new digital media for training in wood technology by or with the training staff.
  • Training measures for managers, company trainers and teachers to strengthen their digital competences and design digital transformation processes
  • Preliminary studies on and testing of suitable (innovative) training formats and content (e.g. evening schools, distance learning or blended learning)
  • Organisation and support of practical phases and projects for pupils and students
  • Coaching in the transition to the labour market (individually and in the form of workshops)
  • Technical advice on (green) technologies and innovations in MSMEs and SMEs and cooperation with TVET institutions and association partners
  • Innovation consulting and coaching of professionals in SMEs in cooperation with the TVET institutions
  • Monitoring and Evaluation