Samsung's Engineering Academy Expands to TU-K
SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE
In a move geared towards improving the level of skill-sets in the country’s engineering sector, Technical University of Kenya (TU-K) and Samsung Electronics East Africa have partnered to launch an electronics engineering academy. The academy would equip students with hands-on skills in the repair and maintenance of air conditioning and refrigeration units.
During the launch, Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed lauded Samsung’s efforts in actively participating in skills-sharing programmes, which he said are critical to Kenya’s economic and social development. He asked other industry players to form such linkages with learning institutions to correct technical skill-gaps. “The manufacturing sector is critical in elevating Kenya to a middle-income economy by 2030, hence the need to ramp up technical skills,” he said.
He challenged learning institutions to make use of partnership with the industry. “As we position ourselves for greater sustained economic growth, we foresee a need for specialized technical skills, which will not only ensure that we have trained labour and entrepreneurs, but also ensure that consumers who require repair and maintenance services can acquire them from professionally trained personnel,” said Mohamed disclosing that the Government seeks to construct 60 more Technical Institutions in the country.
According to Samsung’s Vice President for East and Central Africa, Mr. Robert Ngeru, the academy is part of the company’s broader goal to train more than 10,000 Electronics Engineers across Africa by the year 2015. The facility is an extension of the Samsung Engineering Academy that was set-up in 2012 at the Woodvale Centre in Westlands to address the technical and engineering skills shortage in Kenya and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.
The academy will equip students with hands-on skills in the repair and maintenance of air conditioning and refrigeration units by offering practical training and therefore creating opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. Mr. Ngeru affirmed his company’s commitment in training students on hands on skills that will enable them become competitive in a growing economy.
He further said that the training will address skill shortage given that the country currently imports electronics and other home appliances that need electronic specialists. “The number of electronics we are shipping into the country is increasing every day, thus the need for these skills,” Mr Ngeru explained adding that the specialists would offer consumers a ready hand in fixing broken refrigerators and air-conditioners. “Samsung realized there was a gap in getting engineers who possess the right practical skills, hence the decision to establish the engineering academy. Our investment in this training centre is an additional initiative aimed at bridging this skills gap in the country, while at the same time giving youths a chance at entrepreneurship,” he added.
TU-K Vice Chancellor Prof. Francis Aduol thanked the company saying that the facility was unique and offered the best opportunity for training young people. “We are glad to partner with Samsung, we are passionate about nurturing talents by exposing them to the necessary vocational training.” He said and added that such programmes impart practical skills to students who have already learnt theory and therefore enable them to earn a living through capability of their hands. More than 120 TU-K students have graduated from the Samsung academy since it’s inception two years ago. TU-K lays more emphasis on the competency training through it’s renown Industry Based Learning (IBL) module, where students gain practical skills, internship and employment.
The VC also noted that such programmes give the university opportunity to interact at high level with the industry and the impact is useful. He said that a large pool of technicians would help support economic growth of the country and that he was optimistic that the course will help put in place mechanisms to spur industrialisation and economic Development. Some of the students who gave their testimonies said that the course had given them requisite knowledge to meet the challenges of the job market.
Since its launch in Kenya, the Engineering Academy has trained over 250 students in technical fields in line with its different business segments: Internet and Mobile which covers mobile phones and tablets, and Consumer Electronics which covers home appliances such as televisions, home theatres and sound systems, microwaves, refrigerators and washing machines among others.
TU-K Engineering students joined the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy (SEEA) two years ago. They went through orientation and are still going on with their classes under the guidance of staff from the academy, who are impressed with the students’ performance. They urged the students to keep up the momentum stressing that whatever they are learning will be of mutual benefit to them in their careers. Samsung Electronics has promised to equip all successful graduates of the programme with a tool kit, to help them reap the benefits of their training as soon as they complete their course.