Working towards the promotion of vocational training and training of trainers in the energy field, a curriculum and programme development is set to be established.

Energy management and automation company, Schneider Electric South Africa, has signed a letter of intent with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to expand their Access to Education training collaboration.

According to a company statement, their Access to Education focus speaks to the large need for practical skills development within the field of energy.

Since 2012, it claims to have provided energy education to almost 9,000 people and in the next four years targets to increase this number to 30,000, including students, community members, entrepreneurs and teachers.

“We are delighted to sign this statement of intent with the Minister of Higher Education and Training. A core value for Schneider Electric is ensuring that life is on for everyone, everywhere and at every moment. Key to achieving this value is the implementation of our training programmes in the field of energy, which have been designed to support and promote training initiatives as well as vocational training in historically disadvantaged communities,” said Caspar Herzberg, President of Schneider Electric Middle East and Africa, who co-signed the statement of intent with Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education and Training.

“Schneider Electric recognises the importance of collaboration between industry and government to ensure development in the more than one hundred countries that we operate in. Initiatives such as these promote job creation and the establishment of new entrepreneurs through our training programmes,” Herzberg added.

Training programmes

Herzberg continued: “Looking to the future, we have included Schneider Electric South Africa’s existing electrical artisan programmes, Schneider Electric Teachers’ programme, access to the Schneider Electric Academy, the online Energy University, its didactic equipment and practical exposure for electrical students as part of the scope of the statement of intent.”

The energy company together with its Foundation partnered with the French Ministry of Education to launch the first French South African Schneider Electric Education Centre (F’SASEC) in 2012 at the Vaal University of Technology. Read more: Eskom and GE Steam Power rally behind skills development

The F’SASEC network, now present at five educational institutions in South Africa, promotes practical training of electrical artisans, introduces advanced teaching methods to train trainers and establishes best practices.

F’SASEC was developed in line with the DHET’s white paper for bridging the gap between various levels of education, with a strong focus on preparing young South Africans.

“It is critical that we expand on collaborations between industry and government in the field of higher education, training, and skills development so that we may consolidate, accelerate our efforts at preparing the workforce for the future,” Herzberg concluded.