A delegation from “Help for Togo” at the MAPAL HQ’s in Aalen
MAPAL has been cooperating with the charitable association "Hilfe für Togo (Help for Togo)" from Waldstetten in the Ostalbkreis district for many years. Active members and supporters of the association around advisory board member Professor Dr Dieter Bolten visited MAPAL's headquarters in Aalen these days.
The visitors were given an insight into the product range and the development and production of precision tools. The focus of the visit was a tour of the training centre, during which the guests from Togo in particular gained ideas for their work on site. In addition to Leon Djossou (Head of the ABCN training centre in Kpalimé) and Victorine Djossou (trainer at the ABCN in Kpalimé), Dr Bolten was accompanied by Klaus Pavel (retired district administrator) and interpreter Aude Buscher.
Between high-tech and craftsmanship
Uwe Hessler, Head of Vocational and Advanced Training at MAPAL, presented the company's training concept and the individual stations of the training centre that the future skilled workers pass through during their apprenticeship. Starting in the manual work area, where the focus is on the manual machining of metals, through the department of conventional milling, drilling and turning machines to the area of CNC machining centres, which trainees can program and operate independently from the second year of their apprenticeship. The guests from Togo were impressed by the extensive equipment of the training centre and the performance of the high-tech machines. "It is fascinating how modern and efficient they train and work here," Leon Djossou noted. The fact that technical knowledge is also taught in a manual form and that the apprentices first learn to process a component manually impressed the guests from Togo no less. Those who have manual skills can build their own livelihood in Togo. Therefore, the association's training centre in Kpalimé offers nine crafts, for example training as a mechanic, carpenter, electrician or tailor. "About one third of our 120 trainees in Kpalimé are girls," Bolten reported proudly. Unlike in francophone countries, the training centre in Kpalimé is based on the German model of dual training. As a rule, the trainees study there for three years and complete alternating school and practical phases, as Bolten explained.
Step into the business start-up
Leon Djossou commented that in Togo, the most important thing is to prepare young people well for their step into self-employment. A well-founded education is the best start-up aid. The Togolese guests were astonished to discover that quite a few young women choose to train in a typical male profession, such as machining or industrial mechanic. And unlike in Togo, many apprentices at MAPAL already have their own car to drive to work.
Tools and equipment donated
The guests were able to gather a lot of impressions on their visit. But that was not all. It is a good tradition at MAPAL to support the training projects of the association. To this end, a comprehensive range of tools and equipment for use in Togo was handed over to those responsible.