Leading edible oils and soaps manufacturer Pwani Oil Products has partnered with Technical University of Mombasa to undertake joint research, training, mentorship, knowledge exchange, and community outreach activities.
The two institutions today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see them collaborate in areas of mutual interest, targeting students, staff and communities in Mombasa.
3000 students are set to benefit from the partnership, which comes at a time when the government has prioritized technical vocational training to boost the country’s industrial capacity, while addressing high levels of unemployment among youth.
Through the partnership, TUM students will benefit from a mentorship and internship program to enhance their technical skills and prepare them for future roles and work life in the corporate and industrial world.
The two institutions will also jointly develop short-term training courses and undertake a staff development program.
Pwani Oil Commercial Director Rajul Malde says his company is keen on partnering with institutions like TUM to improve technical vocational training and facilitate knowledge sharing and research.
“This partnership will benefit students by giving them practical industrial exposure while providing a platform for collaboration between Pwani Oil and TUM in the areas of research, staff training and information exchange,” said Mr. Malde.
He further says there’s greater need for linkages between private sector and academia in developing technical skills aligned to the needs of the labor market especially the manufacturing sector.
On her part, TUM Vice Chancellor Prof. Laila Abubakar said the partnership will go a long way in helping students acquire valuable practical experience, while providing a platform for sharing knowledge through joint research activities.
“As a learning institution focused on imparting technical knowledge and nurturing entrepreneurship skills, we are happy to partner with Pwani Oil in our quest to make our courses relevant to the fast-changing job market,” stated Prof. Abubakar.
She added that as a tertiary learning institution, TUM has expertise in developing professional courses and training modules targeting specific groups. “Continuous learning is an important aspect of career development. By collaborating with Pwani Oil, we are now in a position to better understand the needs of the industrial job market and thus develop relevant short-term courses.”
The partnership is not just limited to research, training and student mentorship but will extend to community outreach activities. This, Mr. Malde explains, is part of Pwani Oil’s wider sustainability agenda to improve the wellbeing of communities.
“As a business, we attach great importance to investing in the communities where we operate. The joint outreach activities with TUM are geared to explore ways in which we can transform the economic and social welfare of communities in a sustainable manner,” explained Mr. Malde.
TUM was previously Mombasa Technical Institute established in 1966, later becoming Mombasa Polytechnic University College in 2007. TUM converted to a fully-fledged university in 2013. It currently has 15,000 students and 270 teaching staff.
Pwani, one of the largest manufacturing companies in the region, was established in 1981 and produces a wide range of cooking oil, detergent and soap products.