Before departing for the social event and climbing the Niesen, Manuel Sager, Director-General of SDC has a short speech to the participants of the face-to-face meeting. He is delighted to see that many National Program Officers and colleagues from Cooperation Offices have come all the way to Thun to join this event. He is also pleased to see so many of partners especially from the private sector present. Manuel Sager bases his speech on the equation “d (development) = e+i” and explains that fighting unemployment is a key challenge for development cooperation. As 9 out of 10 jobs in developing are created by the private sector, this one obviously needs be our partner when working for sustainable economic development and poverty reduction.
Manuel Sager adds that Vocational Education and Training was a very important issue already in his former job as an ambassador to the US. He also mentions the Employment Fund in Nepal and the Skills for Job Project in Bosnia Herzegovina. Both of these initiatives have shown that “vocational education and training can successfully contribute to the development of a more skilled workforce by building a bridge between school curricula and the needs of the local job market. In the case of the Employment Fund in Nepal, we observed that of the 16,400 individuals trained in 2013, 91% of those who graduated found a job and 70% were gainfully employed.” That is why SDC will substantially increase the volume of its VSD projects.
Manuel Sager finally encourages everybody to continue the great work, particularly regarding partnering with the private sector. He ends its speech quoting Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
You can watch Mr. Sager’s speech here: