Hany Abd El-Malak is more busy than ever. He is an operator trainer in Cairo, Egypt. The country’s megaprojects have created a crying need for skilled operators.
Egypt’s new wonder
The construction sector in Egypt is extremely busy. A number of megaprojects in the country have created a huge demand for skilled construction workers on all levels – not least the construction of a new capital city. Ghabbour, one of the biggest automotive companies in the region, has decided to take the training of the workforce to a higher level.
Ghabbour is not just one of the biggest automotive companies in Egypt, but also the Volvo dealer in the region. The company’s training center is located a two-hour drive west of Cairo, in Abo Rawash. A windy morning in early spring, the parking lot outside the center fills up quickly and there is an avid buzz in the corridors outside the classrooms on the first floor.
Hany Abd El-Malak is one of Ghabbour’s most experienced trainers, and a true Volvo fan. Today he will train a group of operators.
“They will come back to their jobs with improved skills that they can use tomorrow. That is why I like my job, I help people develop as professionals. In addition, I really like the product. Volvo has something cool about the whole brand,” Hany says with one of his many happy smiles.
As a consequence to recent years’ booming construction industry, Hany Abd El-Malak and the other trainers at the Ghabbour training center have been unusually busy the last couple of years. The Egyptian government has placed the construction business at the heart of the country’s plan for growth and launched a series of very large infrastructure projects, among them the expansion of the Suez Canal. But the biggest project of them all is the construction of a whole new capital. The city is projected to be home to 5 million people when finalized and by that it will be the biggest planned city ever. Six major contractors are involved in the project, and between 70 and 80 subcontractors. To Ghabbour, the boom has meant new fruitful collaborations with contractors and the ability to move Volvo’s position on the Egyptian market.
“Huge projects like the new capital are dependent on reliable machines. Volvo is exactly that,” says Amr Sedky, Sales Director for heavy equipment at Ghabbour.
The boom has also opened up the opportunity to take the Ghabbour training center to the next level. Wolfgang Groeber is Academy Director and newly recruited from the automotive industry in Germany.
“We offer all kinds of trainings, from courses suitable for managers to trainings for operators and we offer them to our own personnel as well as to our customers. I am here to finetune the offer. I have a long career behind me and can add value in several fields,” says Wolfgang Groeber.
The new capital project has absorbed construction workers on all levels in the whole of Egypt. In addition, the project puts the workforce competence to the test as the construction of the new capital is performed at neck-breaking speed parallel with rising fuel prices. Trained and skilled operators are essential to hold the line on costs.
Hany Abd El-Malak is ending today’s lessons with his group of operators. He is tired but pleased.
“Now their employers will have co-workers who handle the machines more efficiently. That drives down fuel consumption. The whole business benefits from that,” he says and waves goodbye to his students.
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