Alina Gumpert is Managing Director of the German Agribusiness Alliance.


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What contribution can the private sector make to training and employing young people in the Global South? Rural21 talked to Alina Gumpert about training systems, corporate culture and young people’s aspirations.

Ms Gumpert, a large number of German companies are also active in the Global South. What can these companies offer considering the prospects for rural youth?
Quite a lot. The firms operating production sites at local level require skilled employees, for instance in mechanical engineering, as toolmakers or as electricians. So while they offer jobs, they are also involved in providing young people with the necessary specialist skills. To ensure this, they often co-operate with the training organisations or the chambers of foreign trade at local level.

Furthermore, there are companies that work together with farmers, which also involves a lot of knowledge transfer, even though this is not formal training. The same applies to co-operating with service providers, for example in the after-sales area. For instance, many dealers in farming machinery have their own workshops. Knowledge imparted via co-operating, as is the case with mechanics, also benefits young people in other areas. So training or further education is indirectly performed in many fields.

But primarily regarding company-specific specialist knowhow?

Not necessarily. In numerous countries, the formal training system does not impart the skills young people need to find jobs. Here, many companies first of all have to provide basic education and training in order to get skilled labour. And then there is the confusing education market. India, for example, has a large number of private education institutions alongside those run by the government. No doubt many of the private ones are good, but assessing the quality of training in these institutions is often very difficult for outsiders. Any institution can call itself a “university” or “college”, and not every diploma has been acquired “legally”. So the reports of graduates given do not necessarily indicate their level of knowledge, as is at least to a certain degree the case in Germany when for example a Chamber of Trade and Industry report has been annexed to an application.

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