About EF
  • 800 448899 / 02 77891

Press Release

20 apr

Internationally Sponsored Training Academy Opens in Iraq to Teach Young People Key Skills to Succeed in Business

Tuesday 17 April 2012 (London): Sweden's Minister for Trade, Ewa Björling, along with representatives from the Kurdish Regional Government Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, EF Education First and Scania, today attended the official ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Swedish Transport Academy in Erbil, Northern Iraq. 

The Academy is the first training school of its kind in Iraq. It aims to develop the skills of young unemployed people in the region with a secondary school background, to get them into work and in turn help rebuild the Iraqi economy. 

It is a result of a unique cooperation between public and private sector organisations, including the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), EF Education First, the world’s largest privately held education and language training company, and Scania, the leading manufacturer of trucks and buses, together with the United Nations’ development organisation UNIDO and Kurdish Regional Government Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. 

More than 100 students, both male and female, will begin training at The Academy in April, in three different courses; English language, information technology (IT) skills, and basic mechanics. The longer-term plan is to expand these activities to include courses in advanced mechanics, driver training and also in sales and marketing later in the year. 

Commenting on the opening, Christoph Wilfert, President, EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions said: ”We are proud to be part of such an important initiative in Iraq, and believe the Academy will play a crucial role in equipping Iraqi students with the vital blend of skills they need to succeed in local and international business. Good English language skills are of paramount importance to doing business successfully across borders, so the training provided will really enhance the employability of these students in Iraq. As such, this project makes important first steps towards securing a brighter future for the country as a whole”. 

Scania, which already has a significant presence in the region, plan to recruit students graduating from The Academy directly, giving them access to real job opportunities at the end of their training. 

The establishment of the Academy was made possible through the unique partnership investments from public and private organizations. EF Education First is providing the Academy with access to its online English language school and virtual teacher-led classes, at no cost. Scania is contributing certified teachers and equipment for the training of service technicians. SIDA, is investing £20 million in the school over a four year period, and the operations are being supervised by UNIDO together with the Kurdish Regional Government's Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which is also providing premises for the Academy and covering part of the personnel costs. 

About EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions

EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions, an EF Education First company, is the world leader in corporate language training for international businesses and public sector organizations. Over 1,500 organizations and 15 million students worldwide have now put their trust in us for their language training needs. EF operates from a worldwide network of 400 language schools, offices in over 50 countries, dedicated executive-only schools in Cambridge, London and Boston, and develops and runs the world’s most advanced online virtual language school and classroom. For more information please visit: www.ef.com/corporate

back to releases