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The Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents Association (EFFSAA) in collaboration with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) provided a two week, internationally recognized FIATA/Advisory Body Vocational Training (ABVT), for trainers which included practitioners and academicians and concluded on July 18.
Salahadin Khalifa, Board Chairperson of EFFSAA, said, “Empowering academicians is crucial since they will help produce professionals in the sector,” he told Capital.
A few years ago practitioners engaged in the freight forwarding business took a similar trainers training.
“In the previous training 90 percent of the trainers were practitioners, while in the current trainers training 85 percent are from higher education centers,” Salahadin added.
In its statement the association stated that the current training aims to enable the trainees to become competent and professional trainers, to lead and facilitate future EFFSAA trainings at their own and other accredited training centers.
“This training program further aims to develop training and facilitation knowledge and skills needed to run the EFFSAA training facility of the FIATA diploma in international freight forwarding trainings,” the association added.
EFFSAA board head stressed that even though the training has been accomplished it does not mean that the trainers are certified.
Their certification will be recognized within a month when FIATA evaluate the trainees’ performance and approves them to get the certificate.
In the previous training of trainers (TOT) 47 individuals were selected from affiliated government organs and the private sector. A very limited from higher education institutions had the chance to train the at the internationally recognized TOT and only 35 of them passed the FIATA evaluation, he recalled.
In the current TOT there were 41 professionals from government offices, higher education institutions, the private sector and international organizations. Seven of the participants were trained in the first TOT. They needed to be retrained for revalidation to provide trainings in the logistics sector, according to an expert.
The certified trainers are responsible for preparing modules, lesson plans and other materials that will be authenticated by FIATA to provide training for upcoming professionals.
“The trainers signed a commitment to give training for up to 120 hours a year. At the same time they will be economically rewarded since the training is not for free,” the logistics association chair said.
The training focused on specialization of logistics. Freight forwarding, transport operation, and customs, which consists of 12 courses related to the logistics industry.
EFFSAA said that the TOT program has achieved a guarantee for the development and training of future Ethiopian internationally validated trainers in the logistics sector.
During the first TOT six years ago 90 percent of the costs were covered by FIATA but the cost of the current training have been completely covered locally.
Salahadin said that the association organized sponsors to cover the 1.5million birr worth of trainings.
Thomas Sim, who is a qualified trainer in the logistics sector , has been assigned from FIATA to provide training for trainers in the past two weeks.
Mesfin Tefera, Deputy Head of Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE), told Capital that his Enterprise, which is founding member of EFFSAA, has assigned nine experienced professionals to get the TOT.
“We sent professionals with more than 20 years of experience,” he added.
ESLSE, a state owned logistics operator, has also a plan to provide internationally recognized trainings on the logistics sector on its trainings centers.
The recently trained ten employees of ESLSE will be assigned at the training centers if they are certified by FIATA for the current TOT.
Mesfin said that there is a gap in the logistics sector which is the reason for establishing logistics training centers.
“At the Babogaya Logistics Trainings Centers we will provide a FIATA diploma, which is a ten month training, on freight forwarding, ports and terminals by our trained trainers and others who received the TOT,” Mesfin added.
“We have also a plan to invite highly experienced professional like Sim from abroad to provide further training at the training centers,” he added.
“We give the priority to our staff but others can be trained at our facility,” the deputy head said.
ESLSE said that it will provide training for newly hired staff before being assigned to different departments.