Earlier this year the company has decided to run a pilot for the on-site volunteering in Volvo Group’s schools in Africa, part of Volvo Group’s Society engagement program. After a number of thorough interviews, the final three were chosen to join the schools for vocational training for two months. Edmund Blackford at Americas CVA in Dublin will go to Ethiopia; Selma Klipic at Powertrain Production, Skövde, to Zambia, and Pascal De Giacomoni, OSM at Lyon, will visit Morocco.
“We really think that this is a great opportunity and are sure that these employees will do a great job in Africa. However, we had so many good applicants, whose commitment and skills fitted the description, that the final choice was very hard,” says Maria Rosenkrantz Sundemo, SVP, HR, Group Trucks Operations.
All in all, 32 employees from different parts of the Volvo Group organization applied for the volunteering. The qualifications for the assignment were skills in project management, communication and networking, coupled with a good overview and understanding of the Volvo Group organization. The employees also had to show a genuine interest in social responsibility with a strong feeling and passion to contribute to societal and business development.
During the stay, the volunteers will share their everyday life in Ethiopia, Zambia and Morocco online.
“To be a part of this is a great opportunity and I will get a new perspective, experience a new culture, meet new people, learn new things, and at the same time spread The Volvo Way”, says Selma Klipic from Skövde.
Pascal De Giacomoni from Lyon is convinced that supporting specialized skills development in Africa is really a win-win approach.
“With its efforts to reduce youth unemployment, the Volvo Group will contribute to sustainable growth in the country and in return get better access to trained personnel required to expend our business in Africa. I am so happy to be able to contribute!” he says.
Edmund Blackford adds:
“This is a rare Life Experience opportunity. Personally I look forward to creating lasting friendships, building trust relationships in the host country and discovering new experiences. Professionally, I expect to continue developing my education about our company.”
Employee volunteering in society engagement projects e.g. vocational trainings fits into the new way of working with societal engagement at the Volvo Group where we create value for the society while developing our business and employees.
“This is a great example of a shared value approach in societal engagement. It is very exciting to see that many employees are so engaged in this and want to contribute. It’s the Volvo Group employee’s knowledge and expertise which helped our vocational training schools in Africa to actually become successful” says Irem Soydan, Director External CSR Management.