Liberia: ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy Graduates 50

.... Employment awaits all graduates  

The ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy (AMLTA) in Yekepa graduated fifty young Liberians who will be progressively absorbed by the company with an attractive startup package, ArcelorMittal Liberia has announced. 

Recruitment of the latest batch of AMLTA graduates supports ArcelorMittal Liberia’s efforts to contribute to the empowerment and skills development of Liberia’s youth and is also aligned with the company’s massive Phase Two expansion project. 

Serving as commencement speaker at the second graduation ceremony of AMLTA on  December 17, the Minister of Labor, Cllr. Charles Gibson commended the company for its huge investment in youth development through the operations of its state-of-the-art academy. 

Gibson, following the visit to the company mines and academy, said he was impressed with the education and training facilities at the company and the high level of employment of Liberians. 

“What we have seen at AML is unmeasurable with what we have seen at other concession companies,” he said.

 Impressed with the performance of Liberians at the mine, he told the graduates, “jobs are waiting for you before you graduate.”

According to Gibson, AML is willing to absorb the graduates into their employment and start them with minimum wages of US$750, which he described as encouraging.

He said it was the first time to see a concessionaire providing jobs at such a scale, after already investing in the training and development of a group of Liberians. 

The 50 young Liberians graduated with diplomas in various technical fields including diesel mechanics, fitting, industrial electricity, and boiler making after three years of practical and theoretical training. 

The graduating class included three females from all parts of Liberia, with Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa Counties dominating in number. 

Graced by some senior officials of government, stakeholders in the Technical Vocational Education (TVET) sector, families, and community members, Saturday’s graduation included a colorful awards ceremony for high performers in various categories and from the different departments of the institution. 

Speaking on the ArcelorMittal Liberia Third Amended Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), Gibson called for the speedy resolution of outstanding issues and the ratification of the agreement. 

“ArcelorMittal is the highest taxpayer and largest investor in Liberia, so detaching AML from Liberia will lead to a catastrophe. With an additional USD one billion being invested to set up the concentrator, AML is here for the long-term and is making a long-term investment.” 

The Liberian Labor Minister said the sooner the ArcelorMittal Liberia Third Amended Mineral Development Agreement is ratified, it will make a big difference, not just in job creation for the youth, but also will increase revenue generation. 

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal Liberia Jozephus Coenen has emphasized the many benefits of the ArcelorMittal Liberia Phase Two expansion project and the ripple positive effects of the company’s Third Amended MDA, when ratified. 

“We are building a concentrator that will lead us to add value to iron ore before exportation beginning in 2025, and we will be exporting 15 million tons per annum. This will bring benefits not only to our shareholders but also to Liberia and the local communities,” Coenen stressed. 

He told guests at the graduation ceremony that the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy is expanding to accommodate more people and will introduce new courses in addition to those that are already being offered. 

Formerly known as the Vocational Training Center (VTC), the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy is an initial US$7 million investment to help support efforts by the Liberian Government to tackle the issue of youth unemployment through the provision of in-demand technical vocational skills and expertise to Liberians. 

Ishmael F. Menkor contributed to this story