Since 2014, the UN has recognised World Youth Skills day to “… celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.” Supporting young people with skills and experience today builds the knowledgeable experts of tomorrow. So, as World Youth Skills Day approaches (15th July 2022), we wanted to highlight just a few ways Mantrac has made a significant contribution to supporting the specialists of tomorrow.

Becoming an expert

Nobody starts out being an expert. Practice, experience and structured development are the ways that anyone becomes an expert. Across the regions we operate in, Mantrac is invested in providing developmental support to young people.

In 2021, our training team in Egypt saw 10,000 people register for the Technicians for Africa programme, representing a high level of interest in the programme, and reflecting almost the total number of enrolments to date, 13,000.

The Technicians for Africa programme is undertaken online over the course of 3-6 months, and across its 18 modules it gives students a thorough understanding of the role, work and expectations for service technician in the automotive, trucking and heavy equipment industries.

While Mantrac offers this programme, we have also explored collaborations and partnerships with other educational institutions to throw the opportunity the programme represents to the widest possible audience.

An example of this in Ghana has led to a strategic partnership with Takoradi Technical University’s Engineering department. Here, students are given the opportunity to have hands-on training sessions that are both instructive and invaluable. These kinds of sessions not only offer interesting practical opportunities but give a glimpse into what a career would be like working as an engineer.

In an act of generosity, Caterpillar have also donated an engine to the school to be used in education and training scenarios.

The Technicians for Africa programme, once completed, also fast tracks recruitment within Mantrac. In Mantrac Ghana, they create a CV bank for those that enrol so that they can be considered for vacancies more directly. While at Mantrac Egypt, completion of the programme will soon be a prerequisite for job applications.

Supporting all types of learning

While the Technicians for Africa programme is very vocational and industry focussed, Mantrac also provide support for more general learning and skill development.

In Ghana this year, Mantrac commissioned a modern play area and an AstroTurf playing field at the Ahenemba International School at Mpatado in Takoradi. The playing field, named 'The Mansour Field of Dreams', will be useful in the development of sporting skills for young students, both through drills that develop skills and the playing of matches. The playground will likewise provide the opportunity for young people to experience play and develop a greater sense of themselves.

In 2019, the BBC covered the story of an imaginative young Nigerian inventor, Hope Emmanuel Frank.

Despite growing up in a challenging environment, this young man became incredibly interested in how things work and spent much of his time on a project called “CAT hope” where he constructed models of diggers and excavators using whatever was available to him. Everything from bits of wood and toy parts to laptop batteries.

In response to the BBC coverage, and as a reaction to Hope’s ingenuity and obvious passion for the big yellow machines of CAT, Mantrac Nigeria reached out and appointed him a Mantrac ambassador.

In addition to ambassadorship, Hope and his co-inventor friend were given a tour of the Mantrac Nigeria facilities including the state-of-the-art workshop and the opportunity to see, and operate, CAT machinery.

Finally, to ensure Hope can maximise his obvious potential, Mantrac awarded him a scholarship to Topfaith International Secondary School, a high-quality school within the state, along with a laptop to support his learning and his passion projects and a welfare and finance package to ensure his basic needs as a student are taken care of.

The future is now

In the two years since the BBC story, Hope has continued his studies, learning more about engineering, Mantrac and Caterpillar, as well as broadening his basic education. He continues to develop into a young man who is devoted to engineering in spite of his location or socio-economic standing.

There is no greater legacy than the seeds that we plant today.

Mantrac is committed to a high-skills future, and we understand that to achieve this requires investment today. With programmes like Technicians for Africa, and investments in schooling provisions for institutes, we can live up to our social responsibilities and ensure not just the development of our company and our industry, but across the societies we work in.