Samsung has opened its new Electronics Engineering Academy in Boksburg, offering hands-on training that supplements their theoretical learning to students from the technical high schools in the area. The company aims to equip 10 000 new engineers by 2015.
Statistics show that out of the 205 364 candidates in South Africa who wrote Physical Science as a matric subject in 2010, only 47,8% achieved a mark of 30% or more. While this is an improvement compared to the 2009 figures, the rate has dropped overall – resulting in the under-development of the necessary science skills critical to South Africa’s long-term economic growth.
Samsung’s Electronics Engineering seeks to transform communities through education and skills development and, in return, open up skilled, well-paying job opportunities for individuals. By tapping into the youth’s interest in electronics, Samsung will equip underprivileged students attending government technical schools with the skills and practical experience required to make them competitive in the local job market.
Ntutule Tshenye, CSR lead at Samsung Africa, says: “At Samsung, we have identified the urgent need to address such skills and education challenges that Africa faces, as these affect the overall industry we are involved in. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to implement effective and sustainable CSR initiatives that will deliver measurable improvements to the quality of life for both individuals and the community we work in.
“We have set a goal accordingly: to positively impact 5-million lives by 2015. Through the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy we are addressing the critical technical and engineering skills shortage in South Africa and, as we expand our initiative across the African continent.
“The Academy also aims to differentiate Samsung’s quality of service to our customers. We are building a workforce of technicians and exclusive service experts in line with the South African government’s drive of creating decent jobs, especially for young citizens.”
The Academy will benefit the technical high schools in the Ekurhuleni municipal area. Samsung has already signed participation agreements with four schools in Katlehong and Vosloorus, and will accommodate more schools in the coming years.
The Academy features a state of the art electronics engineering laboratory, to be used for all the practical work, and a technology-rich space where students, sourced from Grades 10 – 12 Physical Science and Mathematics, will undertake their theoretical lessons and discussions.
The overall emphasis is hands-on, practical experience for the workplace, while Samsung is also focused on entering graduates into a service centre programme.
Students who graduate from the Academy will compete for an internship opportunity at one of Samsung’s various service centres across the country where they will put the skills learned at the Academy to practical use for Samsung customers.