Fifty-eight students have graduated from the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy as part of the company’s broader goal to develop skilled electronics technicians and engineers across the country by bridging the skills gap that is occasioned by lack of resources. The academy which was launched four years ago, has seen students graduate with hands-on, practical skills at no cost, enabling them to move into jobs after they graduate.
Samsung Electronics East Africa VP and MD, Jung Hyun Park, said the Academy’s primary goal is to develop Technicians, Technologists and Engineers across the country to address the critical technical and engineering skills shortage that exists in the job market.
(TOP: Ken Gitonga, Samsung Staff – centre – takes CS for Industrialisation Adan Mohammed and former Samsung VP East Africa and CEO, Samsung Electronics through how an inbuilt air condition system works. This was after launch of the Engineering Academy at the Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi in September 2014).
“As Samsung we shape the future with transformative ideas and technologies. As a result the desire to equip young people with latest global technological skills to assist them compete effectively in the job market is what drives us to initiate such noble ideas, and the academy is part of our global company broader goal to develop skilled technicians and engineers across the country”, he stated.
He added that the African continent faces a critical shortage of technical and engineering skills. The continent’s young people also fall behind in physical sciences and engineering. “Part of Samsung’s social and business responsibilities is therefore to promote sustainable social development that supports communities where we operate.”
The trainees experience hands-on training with Samsung’s top-of-the-range equipment. “Most Kenyan students cannot afford to travel abroad to gain these skills. As a result we mooted this idea to bring these skills that meet industry standards closer home and to create entrepreneurial spirit among the young graduates in the market”, he continued.
Park noted that the student selection process is conducted competitively from leading partner institutions such as Technical University of Kenya, Multimedia University, JKUAT, Kabete National Polytechnic, Nairobi Technical Training Institute and Machakos University College.
“Our focus is on those pursuing Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Information Technology, Scientific Computing and Mechanical and Telecommunication Engineering,” said Park. The top performing students get a chance to intern at Samsung Electronics or its service partners and thereafter work as independent service technicians or employees within in their respective regions.
The academy is part of Samsung’s global ‘Hope for Children’ initiative, which places a strategic focus on bringing attention to the worldwide need for childhood education and healthcare in an effort to improve communities worldwide.
The nine month course undertaken by the students is made up of 20 percent theory coursework, while the practical work covers 80 percent. After this they intern for three months.