Development


Samsung academy to boost tech skills

8 March 2011

Electronics giant Samsung has launched the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy to tackle the shortage of technical and engineering skills in South Africa, aiming to change five-million peoples' lives through corporate social responsibility initiatives by 2015.

The initiative strives to transform communities through education and skills development and in return open up skilled, well-paying job opportunities for individuals.

The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy is located in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, and will benefit the Technical High schools in the Ekurhuleni municipal area. Samsung has already signed participation agreements with four high schools in Katlehong and Vosloorus, and will accommodate more schools in the coming years.

The academy boosts a state-of-the-art electronics engineering lab to be used for all the practical work, and a technology-rich space where students, sourced from Grades 10 to 12 physical science and mathematics, will undertake theoretical lessons and discussions.

Youth interest in electronics

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 job market.

"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," Samsung Africa corporate social responsibility (CSR) head Ntutule Tshenye said in a statement this week.

"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."

Internship opportunities

The overall emphasis is hands-on, practical experience for the workplace. Furthermore, Samsung is focused on entering graduates of this class into a service centre programme.

Students who graduate from the academy will also 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.

Because the program provides students with the necessary engineering acumen, Samsung will help give the graduates a head start in the workplace, making them attractive recruits for Samsung, Samsung partners and or other industry players.

The Samsung Engineering Academy plays a key role within Samsung's overall CSR strategy, which incorporates far more than merely monetary investment, but rather a value-added approach, incorporating elements of true involvement such as employee time, consumer education and brand alignment," said Tshenye.

"With our goal in place to impact five-million lives by 2015, we believe that this initiative has the potential to do just that."

SAinfo reporter

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