March 27, 2009 11:15 ET

Canada Launches Major Vocational Training Initiative for Haiti

LAVAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 27, 2009) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced a major initiative that will help Haiti build a skilled workforce necessary for sustained economic growth. This support will strengthen the CANADO (Centre de Formation Professionnelle d'Haiti) as it upgrades training programs and facilities to ensure alignment with labour market needs.

This is the fourth component of the Skills for Employment initiative that will also support vocational and professional training projects in Africa, the Caribbean and the Andean region.

"This Skills for Employment initiative is an integral part of our support to Haiti to build a stronger economy," said Minister Oda, who visited the CANADO during her visit to Haiti March 15th to 18th. "A skilled workforce will strengthen the foundation of businesses and industries as well as improve the community's social stability. Canada, and institutions such as College Montmorency, has the tools to provide the necessary know-how and help develop a qualified workforce in developing countries around the world. That's what the Skills for Employment initiative aims to do."

This initiative is a key element of Canada's long-term commitment to Haiti and follows on the Prime Minister's commitment to increase Canada's engagement in the Americas. The training provided under this initiative will help Haitian women, men and youth gain the skills to fully participate in the economic and social development of their communities.

For further information on the initiative announced today and other Canadian aid initiatives in Haiti, please refer to the attached backgrounder or visit CIDA's web site at:



As part of the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) Skills for Employment initiative, the Government of Canada is investing $13.3 million over six years to strengthen the Haiti Vocational Training Centre in Port-au-Prince, also known as the CANADO (Centre de Formation Professionnelle d' Haiti). In line with Haiti's efforts to upgrade its skills training, the Centre will modernize curricula, upgrade facilities and workshops, and enhance "train-the-trainer" programs, ensuring programs are in line with labour market needs and available to both women and men.

CIDA's $95 million Skills for Employment initiative supports developing country efforts to establish technical and vocational education and training systems. This training helps youth and other individuals gain the skills they need to engage in meaningful employment that contributes to the economic and social development of their communities.

A venerable institution needs to revamp its programs

With support from CIDA, Brother Gilles Charlebois-a Canadian member of the Congregation of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart-founded the CANADO in 1973. Over the years, CIDA has provided support to the Centre to hire teaching staff, buy equipment, and build relations with the National Institute of Vocational Training (INFP).

With Haiti's weak industrial sector and about two thirds of the population unemployed, the Centre is reorganizing its structure, administration, and laboratories, as well as upgrading training programs and the qualifications of trainers to better respond to private sector needs. CIDA, through its Skills for Employment initiative, is helping the Centre with this process.

Sharpening skills for the marketplace

With support from Canadian experts, the CANADO will improve its management practices, update existing three-year diploma programs in electrical engineering, secretarial studies, computer science, and industrial mechanics, and develop new programs based on marketplace needs. These measures will help augment Haitians employability.

In addition, the project will equip the Centre with computers and other equipment and tools, and enable the CANADO to develop ways to increase girls' participation in non-traditional programs and occupations.

Partnerships with the private sector

The Centre will use a skills-based approach to vocational and technical training, which involves analyzing work situations to determine needed skills. To that end, Haitian businesses will help define training programs and organize internships. Ultimately, the private sector and the entire economy of Haiti will benefit from the steady flow of newly trained graduates.

The end goal of the Skills for Employment initiative is to significantly increase the number of young men and women in skilled positions and with meaningful employment.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Michelle Coates
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office