The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Helping engineers to better serve people in need

This article was published more than two years ago. Some information may no longer be accurate.

UNOPS helps partners to design, construct, rehabilitate and maintain infrastructure in very challenging environments. Whether building a road or designing a bridge, our highly skilled engineers are central to the success of UNOPS infrastructure projects.

This year, UNOPS celebrates 20 years of serving people in need. To mark this, we are taking a closer look at how UNOPS invests in its infrastructure professionals and provides training opportunities to our partners. By developing skills, knowledge and providing opportunities to obtain internationally recognized certifications, UNOPS strengthens their ability to serve people in need. Furthermore, the engineers themselves gain valuable training and experience, helping to advance their careers, while developing national capacity.

Around 80 engineering students build their skills in Afghanistan

Engineering students from Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan began a specially developed training programme in December 2014 under the Rural Access Improvement Project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and implemented by UNOPS. The programme gave 21 final-year undergraduate students, including five female students, intensive specialist and vocational training in engineering for 60 working days. Since the course ended in February 2015, two additional groups of 40 students have successfully completed the training, in neighbouring Balkh province. Since the launch of the training programme in January 2014, four sessions have been delivered to a total of 80 civil engineering students in Jawzjan and Balkh provinces, including 14 young women.

Professional development programme reaps results in Jerusalem

A UNOPS engineer based in the Jerusalem office has become the first to achieve a professional engineering certification through a Professional Development Programme, currently being piloted there. Antone Maria, Mechanical Services Chief Engineer, recently received his associate level membership from The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, an internationally renowned professional development, training and accreditation association for engineers. Throughout 2015, more engineers in Jerusalem will continue to receive mentoring, on-the-job guidance and formal training to help guide them towards professional certification and excellence.  Later this year, the Professional Development Programme will be rolled out in UNOPS Kenya office.

42 new graduates of UNOPS- and UNDP-supported Infrastructure diploma in El Salvador

The Diploma on Social Management in Infrastructure Projects, coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNOPS and the University of El Salvador has been completed by 42 new graduates. Among the graduates were professionals from several public ministries, the Social Investment Fund for Local Development, the Autonomous Executive Port Commission, El Salvador Railways, and students and representatives from local construction companies. First launched in 2013, the Diploma aims to build local capacities and support the development of communities through infrastructure.

New initiative aims to strengthen healthy and safety awareness in the workplace

The first participants of a new safety training initiative have successfully passed and received their certifications. Offered by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the largest health and safety membership organization in the world, the online training consisted of two separate courses, 'Managing Safely' and 'Working Safely'. These pilot training courses were offered to participants from various UNOPS offices and regions: 40 personnel are taking the 'Managing Safely' course and 60 are taking the 'Working Safely' course. Providing internationally recognized training is considered best practice in the implementation of the health and safety management system OHSAS 18001, an international certification that UNOPS received in July 2014. UNOPS will offer the IOSH training to more participants throughout 2015.

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