Schneider Electric has created new higher learning institutions in South Africa and has committed to supplying an engineering lab in Egypt. The company has entered into public-private partnerships in both countries in order to achieve this, with these initiatives aiming to help address unemployment and skills shortages.
Four higher learning institutions have been added to the French South African Schneider Electric Education Centres (FSASEC) network. The new FSASEC centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town bring the total number of centres in South Africa to five. The first one was opened at Vaal University of Technology in 2012.
The company has established tripartite agreements between Schneider Electric South Africa, supported by the Schneider Electric Foundation in France, the French Ministry of Education and local tertiary institutions. In March last year, it signed four new agreements with Sedibeng College in the Vaal Triangle, University of Johannesburg, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and College of Cape Town. The new training Centre in Sebokeng will focus on domestic insulation and industrial insulation.
Schneider Electric engineers will train teachers from the institutions that the company has partnered with through the Schneider Electric Teachers Programme. The engineers will share best practices on teaching methods while showing them how to use equipment donated by the company.
“We received a hundred thousand euros worth of Schneider Electric training equipment that has been donated to the training centre by Schneider Electric. We are focusing on disadvantaged students and giving them an opportunity to get practical training experience for which there is a very big need in tertiary institutions where the courses can be very theoretical. We are making sure that there is a practical component to the training so that the students are better prepared for the work environment,” Zanelle Dalglish, Sustainable Development Leader for Southern Africa at Schneider Electric says.
South Africa is the first African country to receive the FSASEC programme, with plans to extend it into the rest of Africa.
In Egypt, Schneider Electric has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) to establish and equip an engineering laboratory. The lab will be situated in Borg Al Arab Technology Park, and will include a 3D universal simulator for the design of multi-axis motion machines, which will serve as a 3D simulation program, a computer with its peripherals and a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).