By Kalkidan T. Deribe
In an effort to foster talent development and promote skills excellence in Ethiopia, the Ministry of Labour and Skills launched the 3rd National Skills Competition on 22nd May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The competition was graced by the Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed and several high-level ministers.
The National Skills Competition is an initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Skills supported by the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) with funding from the World Bank.
This year’s edition under the theme’ Skills for Competitiveness’ brought together talented individuals from various technical and vocational institutions focusing on the importance of skills training and vocational education in driving economic growth and reducing youth unemployment.
Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed inspects innovations being showcased at the 3rd National Skills Competition.
During the opening ceremony the Prime Minister, H.E. Dr Abiy Ahmed underscored the significance of the competition in promoting a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and excellence. He emphasized that skills development is important to Ethiopia’s overall development agenda and encouraged participants to demonstrate their talents and passion during the competition. H.E further stressed the great contribution that the TVET sector will bring in fostering a solution minded generation; tackling and solving the challenges the country is enduring in its journey to prosperity.
The National Skills Competition offered a platform for TVET innovators to showcase exceptional skills and craftsmanship in three pillars, including skills, technology and action research in selected 30 professions. It featured different categories, including leather, textiles, technology, industrial automation, robotics, construction, and others. Participants, who were selected through regional competitions, competed in various skill areas, demonstrating their expertise, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
The competition not only celebrated the skills of individual participants but also provided a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration among professionals, trainers, and industry experts. It facilitated the exchange of best practices, techniques, and innovative ideas, contributing to the overall advancement of Ethiopia’s workforce and the nation’s economic development.
The final federal winner of the 3rd National Skills Competition was Hawassa Polytechnic College, which is currently an EASTRIP Regional Flagship Institute striving to be a centre of excellence for the leather sector. Hawassa PTC was awarded during the ceremony to celebrate their outstanding achievements and contributions.
The winners have an opportunity to represent Ethiopia at regional and the World Skills Competition, further raising the country’s profile internationally. The competition is held every other year as part of the Ministry’s initiative to continuously nurture and promote skills excellence to enhance skilled workforce, boost job creation, and build a prosperous and inclusive society.
The Writer is the National Project Coordinator for EASTRIP in Ethiopia at Ministry of Labour and Skills