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Schneider Electric widens tech-focused education centre network

Schneider Electric widens tech-focused education centre network

French energy management and automation company Schneider Electric is taking steps to address unemployment and skills shortages in South Africa and Egypt through public-private partnerships it has entered into in both countries.

In South Africa, the company has added four higher learning institutions to its French South African Schneider Electric Education Centres (FSASEC) network.

Zanelle Dalglish, Sustainable Development Leader for Southern Africa at Schneider Electric said the new institutions will help to improve the quality of curriculums by offering practical training to students.

"What we are doing is establishing tripartite agreements in South Africa 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, we signed four new agreements with Sedibeng College in the Vaal Triangle, University of Johannesburg, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and College of Cape Town. We launched the training Centre in Sebokeng on Tuesday. It will focus on domestic insulation and industrial insulation," said Dalglish.

"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," he added.

FSASEC centres opened this week in Johannesburg and Cape Town brings the total number of centres in South Africa to five after the first one was opened at Vaal University of Technology in 2012.

Dalglish said Schneider Electric engineers will train teachers from the institutions that the company has partnered with through the company's Schneider Electric Teachers Programme. The engineers will share best practices on teaching methods while showing them how to use the equipment that has been donated.

She adds that while South Africa is the first African country where an initiative such as FSASEC is being launched, plans are in plays to extend the programme outside the country's borders.

"Schneider Electric has similar partnerships with the French Ministry of Education in other countries in Europe, South America as well as India and other parts of Asia. In Africa, we are planning to expand our network of FSASECs outside the border of South Africa within the next three months. We will be signing on new partners in Southern Africa."


In Egypt on Tuesday this week, The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser ElKady attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Schneider Electric-Egypt and North East Africa to establish and equip an engineering laboratory in Borg Al Arab Technology Park.

The MoU stipulates that Schneider Electric will supply an engineering laboratory with 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).

The ITIDA will responsible for organising a training program for university students in the innovation building at Borg Al Arab Technology Park.

Asmaa Hosni, CEO of ITIDA, said the MoU is the beginning of a joint strategy and cooperation between ITIDA and Schneider Electric to train candidates on the latest technological applications and solutions in the field of energy management and machine control.

Schneider Electric has previously cooperated with Egypt's Ain Shams and Helwan Universities, as well as the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate to train the students in the Faculty of Engineering on energy management systems and open specialised labs in the both universities and the Syndicate.

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