City college steps in to help transform Angola's economy

A GLASGOW college is helping to transform the economy of an African country ravaged by civil war for nearly a quarter of a century.

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  • The first batch of students are benefiting from training at the facility in Angola for a career in the maritime industry
    The first batch of students are benefiting from training at the facility in Angola for a career in the maritime industry
  • The first batch of students are benefiting from training at the facility in Angola for a career in the maritime industry
  • The first batch of students are benefiting from training at the facility in Angola for a career in the maritime industry
  • The first batch of students are benefiting from training at the facility in Angola for a career in the maritime industry

City of Glasgow College has gone into partnership with some of the world's largest multi-national companies under an initiative to train Angolans for a ­career in the maritime industry.

Officials from the college have helped create the new £110million training facility high on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean near the village of Sumbe, 350km south from the capital of Luanda.

Staff from Glasgow have also developed the curriculum and are now teaching the first batch of students recruited to the Centro de Formacao Maritima de ­Angola - which can house up to 200 students.

The centre, which is equipped with state of the art equipment and technology, a library, IT suite with Wi-Fi and residential accommodation, will produce students to work in a number of careers in the maritime industry from ships captains to engineers, navigators and deck hands.

All will spend the second year of their course in Glasgow.

Underpinning the project is the aim to provide skilled Angolans to work in the shipping industry, which is helping to extract and export the country's vast offshore oil reserves.

One of the first students to benefit from the six-year initiative, driven and ­financed by multi-national shipping company Stena and Angola's state oil company Sonangol, is 21-year-old Jisilda Nguli from Benguela.

The deck cadet secured a scholarship from the ­Sonangol shipping company to join the programme and now dreams of becoming a ship's captain.

She said: "This is a big opportunity for me to have a career. People think this is something that only men can succeed in, but I want to show them that girls can do it just as well.

"I am looking forward very much to coming to Glasgow next year to finish my studies although people have told me it is very cold."

Antonoio Tabita, 26, who is also a deck cadet, comes from a poor rural background close to the town of Soyo, north west of the capital, and remembers living in a mud house with his eight brothers when he was growing up.

He said: "I am from a poor family, but I got a scholarship and now I have a big opportunity to make a successful career.

"I was good at science at school and so it seemed like the right career. This centre is the best place to get the qualifications I need because it is of such high quality."

Another student to benefit is engineering cadet Jaco Tiberio, 20, from Luanda.

He said: "This is a new career here and when I ­became aware of the centre I wanted to join.

"I liked mechanical engineering and I thought I could make a success here.

"I want to become a chief engineer and have a good career, which is now possible."

Speaking at the launch of the new centre in Angola this week, Paul Little, principal of City of Glasgow College, said the venture proved Scottish colleges could export training across the globe in the same way Scotland's universities now operate.

He said: "Scotland has a reputation for delivering world-class education and we are proud to have world renowned centres of excellence in nautical studies training some of the best ships captains and officers.

"In an increasingly globalised world we believe it is important to share our expertise and skills, and the centre in Angola is a fantastic example of that in action.

"We are advancing the reputation of Scottish colleges across the globe and also making a positive difference in developing countries."

Head of the centre Captain John Lloyd added: "We have created some of the best maritime training facilities in the world here in Angola. We look forward to it becoming the long term training provider of choice for all operators in Angola."

Kevin Slade, director of Northern Marine Management Ltd, part of the Stena Group, said: "The Stena Group will provide and maintain a strong link with established international maritime institutions such as City of Glasgow College to ensure that the centre receives the support necessary for the continued delivery of the highest standards of training."

Education

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