Abel Geremew on applying soft skills to fashion designing in Ethiopia

Two weeks ago Abel Geremew graduated in Fashion Design from the Addis Ababa Tegbareid Polytechnic College in Ethiopia. His fashion interest got triggered by the vibrant different traditional African attires people wear in Addis. Abel then decided to turn his love of African fashion into a career, his goal being to create a globally recognized African fashion brand.

It is while studying Fashion Design that he enrolled in Kepler’s Graduate Employment Program (GEP), going to his fashion classes in the morning and attending GEP classes in the afternoon.

The GEP initiated by Kepler in collaboration with two TVETs in Ethiopia, the Nefas Silk Polytechnic College and Addis Ababa Tegbareid Polytechnic College; aims to create new pathways to employment for young people, by equipping them with soft skills and job readiness skills before placing them in professional internships and jobs that are aligned with their technical training.

So far, the GEP has trained over 2000 graduates since 2021 from two colleges in Addis, 611 in 2022 alone, with over 85% of them employed or pursuing further education within six months of completing the training. The entirety of the 2021 cohort is already in industrial placement or employment.

For Abel, the GEP has been a great personal and professional opportunity. During the 5 weeks the program lasted, he improved his entrepreneurial and communication skills, learned to write emails, and created his first CV.

According to him, the program has opened a world of possibilities for his future, it showed him that it was possible to dream big and achieve your targets. Abel is now planning to apply the entrepreneurial skills he acquired to make a business plan, and save money until he has enough capital to open his own fashion brand.

‘I have become an ambassador for GEP in my community. I encourage other young people at my college to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the GEP program because I believe our country needs the skills I have learned through the program.’ Abel explained.