Welcome from the Chair of Trustees

I am delighted that you are considering applying for the position of Chief Executive at Mechanics for Africa (MfA).

If you can provide inspirational leadership for MfA as it enters the next phase of growth and development, do get in touch. For an informal discussion about the role contact me via email leaving your number for me to call you back.

I look forward to hearing from you.

David Lucas, Chair of Trustees

This website will give you an overview of MfA and the position, but to really get a feel for how special MfA is, hear about it directly from our students and staff on our Facebook page and in our film.

Mechanics for Africa (MfA) runs a college in Ndola, Zambia training underprivileged young people in motor mechanics and skills for life, giving them a step up in life and hope for a better future.

We are a registered charity and alongside the college operate a commercial workshop repairing vehicles and providing incredible opportunities for students to work in our live environment and gain valuable experience of fixing a wide range of vehicles.

MfA is a Christian college and is often referred to as being like a family. Throughout the course, we give our students opportunities to explore Christianity and to build the strong foundations of ethics, hard work, and discipline characteristic of the Christian faith.

From 16 students at the start in 2003, MfA has expanded and at present we have ninety students studying a two-year course which leads to an internationally-recognised City and Guilds qualification. This particular qualification is bering discontinued, so we are now transitioning to a two-year course provided by Zambia’s own training standard body, TEVETA.

 MfA has developed a strong local reputation and there generally have been 200 or so applications for an annual intake of around 45 students. A recent grant from the Beit Trust has been used to extend our classrooms and buildings and we plan to increase student numbers to 100 for 2021.

The college is registered with the Zambian ministry of vocational education (TEVETA) and has their outstanding rating. The success of our teaching is simply expressed in the fact that in 2019 UK City & Guilds examinations 100% of MfA students passed every single paper, most with credits and distinctions. This compares with a City & Guilds worldwide average pass rate of 52%.

Find out more about Mechanics for Africa, its finances, its people and its operations.

READ MORE

 

Job title

Chief Executive

Reporting to

The Board of Trustees

Overview 

Working closely with the Chair and board of trustees, the primary role of Chief Executive is to provide inspirational leadership, based on Christian principles. You will share in the core aims and values of the college as we seek to provide a distinctive opportunity for underprivileged young Zambians, alongside developing the successful commercial workshop.

Responsibilities    

Strategic planning

  • In conjunction with the Chair and Trustees, develop and deliver the strategy and direction of MfA
  • Develop a financial plan, advising the Trustees on future budgetary requirements and major capital projects
  • Develop a strategy innovating and growing all areas of the college and workshop, including support functions and services.

Finance

  • Develop, agree, and manage the annual budget, submitting monthly reports to the board of trustees
  • Provide monitoring and forecasts for the future financial performance of the MfA
  • Ensure effective systems are in place to meet budgets and to identify and take steps to mitigate any risk
  • Implement proper systems of recording keeping, accounting, payment of staff salaries and pensions, compliance, risk management and internal contract in accordance with law (both Zambian and UK), charitable status and such policies as are approved by the trustees
  • To control costs by robust procurement and contract management, ensuring adequate systems and processes are in place
  • Lead on fundraising campaigns.

Operational Management

  • Lead on planning and implementing the calendar of events
  • Facilitate the interconnected operations of the workshop and college, to enhance learning opportunities for students and maintain commercial productivity
  • Oversee management of support staff and ensure administrative duties and statutory returns are fulfilled

Facilities management

  • Oversee the maintenance, security and use of college and workshop buildings
  • Manage risk throughout the college and workshop, ensuring necessary risk assessments are undertaken and adequate insurance cover in place
  • Supervise the maintenance and efficiency of the installations and plant for utilities and ICT
  • Oversight of cleaning and catering services, ensuring hygiene and food safety standards
  • Ensure compliance with Zambian health and safety legislation, having due regard for that of the UK.

People Management

  • Provide inspiring leadership to the team, giving staff confidence and motivation to develop a collaborative learning culture
  • Give clear direction, setting objectives in line with vision and values
  • To be responsible for staff management and performance, including holding annual appraisals and regular reviews
  • Ensure compliance with Zambian employment law and that all staff have contracts of employment.

Communication

  • Maintain regular contact with the Chair of trustees, and develop strong links with the wider board of trustees, both in Zambia and the UK
  • Oversee digital marketing to ensure website and social media is up to date and consistent with the key messages to promote MfA to current and potential students, clients and supporters
  • Manage the reputation of MfA, creating and directing media opportunities where appropriate
  • Oversee distribution of regular newsletters and other communications to supporters
  • Make UK representation visits as required
  • Maintain contact with statutory authorities and other organisations
  • Represent MfA, enhancing engagement with other charities, colleges and the local community.

 

This job description is not a comprehensive definition of the post; duties may vary within this framework in line with its general character and level of responsibility entailed.  The duties outlined in this job description may be modified by the Trustees to reflect or anticipate changes in the role.

Further information

Terms and conditions

• Salary appropriate to the local context, around £15,000 per annum

• A large four-bed house on the college grounds in Ndola, Zambia

• Use of an MfA vehicle

• Fuel allowance

• Electricity, internet, and water bills

• Tuition fees for up to 3 dependents at premier Copperbelt private school, Simba International, 10 minutes from the college campus

Funded trip to the UK every second year (but please note that the successful applicant may be required to make more frequent work-ing visits to the UK).

Chief Executive – person specification

Essential criteria

  • A commitment to the aims and values of MfA
  • Proven, successful leadership at executive level, or similar, and business management skills
  • An excellent communicator
  • High levels of personal and professional integrity
  • Passionate about education and helping our students make the most of their lives
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students
  • Confident in the use of ICT including Microsoft applications and social media
  • It is an occupational requirement to be a Christian
  • The right to work in Zambia/be able to obtain and maintain valid visa to live and work in Zambia whilst employed by MfA

Desirable criteria

  • Academic qualifications to degree level or equivalent in a numerate subject. Recognised management qualification
  • Previous experience within Zambia or Southern Africa
  • Experience of running a commercial organisation
  • Experience of leadership within an educational environment
  • Experienced in managing budgets

Mechanics for Africa (MfA) is a training school for motor mechanics based in Ndola, Zambia. It was set up in 2003 by a young couple from Surrey, Charlie and Sharonne Watt with the active support of their Milford Baptist Church which they attended. Charlie and Sharonne had worked with an NGO in Zambia and wanted to use their particular skills help young people who live in desperate poverty to get a vocational training and improve their chances of getting work. MfA is a registered charity in both the UK and Zambia.

MfA’s current Chief Executive is Harry Weld-Forester. His wife Sarah is the Academic Manager. They live with their two young children on the college’s campus in Ndola, Zambia. The college employs twenty local staff and managers.

Most of the funding for the college is provided by individuals in the UK sponsoring the students. All the UK and Zambian trustees are volunteers. We separately raise money to cover our modest UK costs, so 100% of the money raised from our students’ sponsors and public appeals goes to support the charity’s work in Zambia.

Our aim is for an increasing proportion of costs to come from trading income within Zambia. MfA’s commercial workshop is our main surplus-generating activity.

From 16 students at the start in 2003, MfA has expanded and at present we have ninety students studying a two-year course which leads to an internationally-recognised City and Guilds qualification. This particular qualification is bering discontinued, so we are now transitioning to a two-year course provided by Zambia’s own training standard body, TEVETA.

 MfA has developed a strong local reputation and there generally have been 200 or so applications for an annual intake of around 45 students. A recent grant from the Beit Trust has been used to extend our classrooms and buildings and we plan to increase student numbers to 100 for 2021.

The college is registered with the Zambian ministry of vocational education (TEVETA) and has their outstanding rating. The success of our teaching is simply expressed in the fact that in 2018 UK City & Guilds examinations 100% of MfA students passed every single paper, most with credits and distinctions. This compares with a City & Guilds worldwide average pass rate of 52%.

We mainly teach motor mechanics, but what sets us apart from other technical colleges is that life skills are an integral part of our curriculum – communication, conflict resolution, interview skills, CV writing. We teach computing and first aid, and bring in experts to teach nutrition and sexual health as well as sustainable small-scale agriculture which is an important contributor to local diets.

We are a Christian college, although you don’t have to be a Christian to apply, We do what we do because we take Christ seriously when he says “The first and greatest commandment is this: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second greatest is this: love others as you love yourself…” (Matthew chapter 22). One our aims is to help our students develop strong foundations of ethics, hard work, and discipline.

We focus on mentoring the individual, and through those individuals we hope to impact the wider families and communities of Zambia as our students graduate from MfA as men and women of good character and great potential.

The cost of our two-year course is about £3,500 per student. Students pay a fee towards their education which relates to their personal circumstances. This averages around 15% of the cost. Following the commercial disruption caused by Covid-19 we are reliant on donors from outside Zambia to cover the vast majority of our costs. Mechanics for Africa ensures that all the money given for student sponsorship is used directly for the benefit of our students in Zambia.   

“This executive role at Mechanics for Africa is a massive opportunity for leadership growth. Managing a staff of around 20, a commercial vehicle workshop and a leading technical college is a challenge and provides a space where your leadership skills will develop and shine. MfA extensively supports you, with the trustees both in the UK and Zambia and provides a great place to live and work. The role is a vocational one and a chance to serve the staff, customers, students and wider Ndola community.  I have found the last 3 years very rewarding, fulfilling and given me a great leadership platform for which to build the rest of my career on.  Apply now- MfA needs you!”

Harry Weld-Forester, current MfA Chief Executive

“Working for Christian Outreach (now CORD) in Mozambique as Transport Manager, we quickly found that there was a dearth of skilled mechanics.  The need was evident in a part of the world where finances are tight for most people, roads are tough on vehicles, mileages are high and the need for transport great. 
 
We designed MfA to address the lack of skilled mechanics with integrity, whilst providing them with a means to provide for themselves and their families, and this has been the over-riding ethos of the college since inception.”

Charlie and Sharrone Watt, Mechanics for Africa founders

“After finding ourselves in Zambia and looking to return to the UK at the end of a two year contract with another organisation, my wife and I were asked to take on leadership of Mechanics for Africa and decided to grab the opportunity. I can safely say it was one of the most amazing, formative, and challenging things we have ever done. As a small charity, Mechanics for Africa has big aims and I feel privileged to have been a part of that for 4 years.

Every year we’d see candidates walk in to their first interview as unskilled but passionate men and women, and every year we’d see our students graduate with a good diploma through one of the highest rated colleges for that particular course in the world. The real impact is in the employment rate of MfA students, which is around 80% against a national average of about 20%. Two years after leaving MfA we still get messages from former students to tell us about their work and the impact that MfA made. For us it turned out to be a simple equation: 4 more years away from our life in the UK to be part of something which has changed hundreds of lives forever.”

Jason Stonier, former MfA Chief Executive

“I have never taken the education I received at MfA for granted because the knowledge doesn’t come cheaply. It was especially great to know that after I graduated I would have a job because of the reputation of MfA. I appreciate the chance that I now have to contribute to my family and the investment that MfA has made in me. I love telling people that I am part of MfA!”

Masiku Zulu, MfA graduate

Applications

Please apply by sending us your completed application form and covering letter to David Lucas, Chair of Trustees, Mechanics for Africa at david.lucas@mechanicsforafrica.com

Closing date:   31st July 2020

Mechanics for Africa (MfA) runs a college in Ndola, Zambia training underprivileged young people in motor mechanics and skills for life, giving them a step up in life and hope for a better future.

We are a registered charity and alongside the college operate a commercial workshop repairing vehicles and providing incredible opportunities for students to work in our live environment and gain valuable experience of fixing a wide range of vehicles.

MfA is a Christian college and is often referred to as being like a family. Throughout the course, we give our students opportunities to explore Christianity and to build the strong foundations of ethics, hard work, and discipline characteristic of the Christian faith.

From 16 students at the start in 2003, MfA has expanded and at present we have ninety students studying a two-year course which leads to an internationally-recognised City and Guilds qualification. This particular qualification is bering discontinued, so we are now transitioning to a two-year course provided by Zambia’s own training standard body, TEVETA.

 MfA has developed a strong local reputation and there generally have been 200 or so applications for an annual intake of around 45 students. A recent grant from the Beit Trust has been used to extend our classrooms and buildings and we plan to increase student numbers to 100 for 2021.

The college is registered with the Zambian ministry of vocational education (TEVETA) and has their outstanding rating. The success of our teaching is simply expressed in the fact that in 2019 UK City & Guilds examinations 100% of MfA students passed every single paper, most with credits and distinctions. This compares with a City & Guilds worldwide average pass rate of 52%.

Find out more about Mechanics for Africa, its finances, its people and its operations.

READ MORE

 

Job title

Chief Executive

Reporting to

The Board of Trustees

Overview 

Working closely with the Chair and board of trustees, the primary role of Chief Executive is to provide inspirational leadership, based on Christian principles. You will share in the core aims and values of the college as we seek to provide a distinctive opportunity for underprivileged young Zambians, alongside developing the successful commercial workshop.

Responsibilities    

Strategic planning

  • In conjunction with the Chair and Trustees, develop and deliver the strategy and direction of MfA
  • Develop a financial plan, advising the Trustees on future budgetary requirements and major capital projects
  • Develop a strategy innovating and growing all areas of the college and workshop, including support functions and services.

Finance

  • Develop, agree, and manage the annual budget, submitting monthly reports to the board of trustees
  • Provide monitoring and forecasts for the future financial performance of the MfA
  • Ensure effective systems are in place to meet budgets and to identify and take steps to mitigate any risk
  • Implement proper systems of recording keeping, accounting, payment of staff salaries and pensions, compliance, risk management and internal contract in accordance with law (both Zambian and UK), charitable status and such policies as are approved by the trustees
  • To control costs by robust procurement and contract management, ensuring adequate systems and processes are in place
  • Lead on fundraising campaigns.

Operational Management

  • Lead on planning and implementing the calendar of events
  • Facilitate the interconnected operations of the workshop and college, to enhance learning opportunities for students and maintain commercial productivity
  • Oversee management of support staff and ensure administrative duties and statutory returns are fulfilled

Facilities management

  • Oversee the maintenance, security and use of college and workshop buildings
  • Manage risk throughout the college and workshop, ensuring necessary risk assessments are undertaken and adequate insurance cover in place
  • Supervise the maintenance and efficiency of the installations and plant for utilities and ICT
  • Oversight of cleaning and catering services, ensuring hygiene and food safety standards
  • Ensure compliance with Zambian health and safety legislation, having due regard for that of the UK.

People Management

  • Provide inspiring leadership to the team, giving staff confidence and motivation to develop a collaborative learning culture
  • Give clear direction, setting objectives in line with vision and values
  • To be responsible for staff management and performance, including holding annual appraisals and regular reviews
  • Ensure compliance with Zambian employment law and that all staff have contracts of employment.

Communication

  • Maintain regular contact with the Chair of trustees, and develop strong links with the wider board of trustees, both in Zambia and the UK
  • Oversee digital marketing to ensure website and social media is up to date and consistent with the key messages to promote MfA to current and potential students, clients and supporters
  • Manage the reputation of MfA, creating and directing media opportunities where appropriate
  • Oversee distribution of regular newsletters and other communications to supporters
  • Make UK representation visits as required
  • Maintain contact with statutory authorities and other organisations
  • Represent MfA, enhancing engagement with other charities, colleges and the local community.

 

This job description is not a comprehensive definition of the post; duties may vary within this framework in line with its general character and level of responsibility entailed.  The duties outlined in this job description may be modified by the Trustees to reflect or anticipate changes in the role.

Further information

Terms and conditions

• Salary appropriate to the local context, around £15,000 per annum

• A large four-bed house on the college grounds in Ndola, Zambia

• Use of an MfA vehicle

• Fuel allowance

• Electricity, internet, and water bills

• Tuition fees for up to 3 dependents at premier Copperbelt private school, Simba International, 10 minutes from the college campus

Funded trip to the UK every second year (but please note that the successful applicant may be required to make more frequent work-ing visits to the UK).

Chief Executive – person specification

Essential criteria

  • A commitment to the aims and values of MfA
  • Proven, successful leadership at executive level, or similar, and business management skills
  • An excellent communicator
  • High levels of personal and professional integrity
  • Passionate about education and helping our students make the most of their lives
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students
  • Confident in the use of ICT including Microsoft applications and social media
  • It is an occupational requirement to be a Christian
  • The right to work in Zambia/be able to obtain and maintain valid visa to live and work in Zambia whilst employed by MfA

Desirable criteria

  • Academic qualifications to degree level or equivalent in a numerate subject. Recognised management qualification
  • Previous experience within Zambia or Southern Africa
  • Experience of running a commercial organisation
  • Experience of leadership within an educational environment
  • Experienced in managing budgets

Mechanics for Africa (MfA) is a training school for motor mechanics based in Ndola, Zambia. It was set up in 2003 by a young couple from Surrey, Charlie and Sharonne Watt with the active support of their Milford Baptist Church which they attended. Charlie and Sharonne had worked with an NGO in Zambia and wanted to use their particular skills help young people who live in desperate poverty to get a vocational training and improve their chances of getting work. MfA is a registered charity in both the UK and Zambia.

MfA’s current Chief Executive is Harry Weld-Forester. His wife Sarah is the Academic Manager. They live with their two young children on the college’s campus in Ndola, Zambia. The college employs twenty local staff and managers.

Most of the funding for the college is provided by individuals in the UK sponsoring the students. All the UK and Zambian trustees are volunteers. We separately raise money to cover our modest UK costs, so 100% of the money raised from our students’ sponsors and public appeals goes to support the charity’s work in Zambia.

Our aim is for an increasing proportion of costs to come from trading income within Zambia. MfA’s commercial workshop is our main surplus-generating activity.

From 16 students at the start in 2003, MfA has expanded and at present we have ninety students studying a two-year course which leads to an internationally-recognised City and Guilds qualification. This particular qualification is bering discontinued, so we are now transitioning to a two-year course provided by Zambia’s own training standard body, TEVETA.

 MfA has developed a strong local reputation and there generally have been 200 or so applications for an annual intake of around 45 students. A recent grant from the Beit Trust has been used to extend our classrooms and buildings and we plan to increase student numbers to 100 for 2021.

The college is registered with the Zambian ministry of vocational education (TEVETA) and has their outstanding rating. The success of our teaching is simply expressed in the fact that in 2019 UK City & Guilds examinations 100% of MfA students passed every single paper, most with credits and distinctions. This compares with a City & Guilds worldwide average pass rate of 52%.

We mainly teach motor mechanics, but what sets us apart from other technical colleges is that life skills are an integral part of our curriculum – communication, conflict resolution, interview skills, CV writing. We teach computing and first aid, and bring in experts to teach nutrition and sexual health as well as sustainable small-scale agriculture which is an important contributor to local diets.

We are a Christian college, although you don’t have to be a Christian to apply, We do what we do because we take Christ seriously when he says “The first and greatest commandment is this: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second greatest is this: love others as you love yourself…” (Matthew chapter 22). One our aims is to help our students develop strong foundations of ethics, hard work, and discipline.

We focus on mentoring the individual, and through those individuals we hope to impact the wider families and communities of Zambia as our students graduate from MfA as men and women of good character and great potential.

The cost of our two-year course is about £3,500 per student. Students pay a fee towards their education which relates to their personal circumstances. This averages around 15% of the cost. Following the commercial disruption caused by Covid-19 we are reliant on donors from outside Zambia to cover the vast majority of our costs. Mechanics for Africa ensures that all the money given for student sponsorship is used directly for the benefit of our students in Zambia.   

“This executive role at Mechanics for Africa is a massive opportunity for leadership growth. Managing a staff of around 20, a commercial vehicle workshop and a leading technical college is a challenge and provides a space where your leadership skills will develop and shine. MfA extensively supports you, with the trustees both in the UK and Zambia and provides a great place to live and work. The role is a vocational one and a chance to serve the staff, customers, students and wider Ndola community.  I have found the last 3 years very rewarding, fulfilling and given me a great leadership platform for which to build the rest of my career on.  Apply now- MfA needs you!”

Harry Weld-Forrester, current Mechanics for Africa CEO

“Working for Christian Outreach (now CORD) in Mozambique as Transport Manager, we quickly found that there was a dearth of skilled mechanics.  The need was evident in a part of the world where finances are tight for most people, roads are tough on vehicles, mileages are high and the need for transport great. 
 
We designed MfA to address the lack of skilled mechanics with integrity, whilst providing them with a means to provide for themselves and their families, and this has been the over-riding ethos of the college since inception.”

Charlie and Sharrone Watt, Mechanics for Africa founders

“After finding ourselves in Zambia and looking to return to the UK at the end of a two year contract with another organisation, my wife and I were asked to take on leadership of Mechanics for Africa and decided to grab the opportunity. I can safely say it was one of the most amazing, formative, and challenging things we have ever done. As a small charity, Mechanics for Africa has big aims and I feel privileged to have been a part of that for 4 years.

Every year we’d see candidates walk in to their first interview as unskilled but passionate men and women, and every year we’d see our students graduate with a good diploma through one of the highest rated colleges for that particular course in the world. The real impact is in the employment rate of MfA students, which is around 80% against a national average of about 20%. Two years after leaving MfA we still get messages from former students to tell us about their work and the impact that MfA made. For us it turned out to be a simple equation: 4 more years away from our life in the UK to be part of something which has changed hundreds of lives forever.”

Jason Stonier, former MfA Chief Executive

“I have never taken the education I received at MfA for granted because the knowledge doesn’t come cheaply. It was especially great to know that after I graduated I would have a job because of the reputation of MfA. I appreciate the chance that I now have to contribute to my family and the investment that MfA has made in me. I love telling people that I am part of MfA!”

Masiku Zulu, MfA graduate

Applications

Please apply by sending us your completed application form and covering letter to David Lucas, Chair of Trustees, Mechanics for Africa at david.lucas@mechanicsforafrica.com

Closing date:   XXX June 2020