Leading energy management company, Schneider Electric, through its Foundation has supported Eastlands College of Technology (ECT) in equipping an Electricity and Solar Energy laboratory for the Electrical department.
This partnership will see the implementation of a three-year qualifying Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering specialized in Telecommunications, an accredited course in Electricity, Electrical wireman and Solar Installations and a three-month Certificate course in solar energy Solar Photovoltaic leading to an ERC certification. In addition, ECT will implement a micro entrepreneurship module disseminated in all the electricity and energy related training courses thereby raising awareness around entrepreneurship and equipping the trainees with skills to start their own enterprises.
Schneider Electric will also up-skill the capacity of trainers at ECT through training of trainers course at Eastlands College of Technology, a Technical Vocational and Entrepreneurial Training Institution sponsored by Strathmore Educational Trust, to offer market oriented and demand driven courses following the Dual Training System especially to the underprivileged youth.
This training strategy is in line with the Government of Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda and Kenya Vision 2030. The College reaches out to unemployed / untrained youth, middle level laborers as well as micro entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years old in the greater Nairobi area.Since it opened its doors in 2015, ECT has welcomed over 1000 students from the neighboring areas to receive training in Electronics and Electrical Technology.
“The lack of well-trained electricians and engineers in the electrical and energy fields is a major obstacle to the successful and sustainable development of a number of regions in emerging economies “, says Edouard Heripret, General Manager East Africa, Schneider Electric adding: “At Schneider Electric, we believe that Access to Energy is a fundamental right and our commitment is to promote sustainable development and provide safe and clean access to energy.”
Providing the greatest population with access to energy entails the implementation of simple, efficient and affordable solutions from Solar lanterns to decentralized microgrids and as Mr. Andrew Olea, the Project Manager of ECT, opined, it is through such collaborations with key players in the Private sector as Schneider Electric, that the country’s technical training landscape can be revamped and our youth given hope for a decent future of gainful employment.
The College is located off Lunga Lunga road in Industrial Area, Nairobi. It houses four equipped workshops for practical classes that provide training on Domestic and Industrial electricity applications that use high and medium voltage, Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering, Specialized welding and Automotive Engineering. The College has adequate classrooms and a Computer Laboratory. Over the years, ECT in partnership with strategic companies and other stakeholders, has devised specially tailored courses to serve industry while paying particular attention to hands-on training to ensure that the future workers are equipped with technical and soft skills in order to be more productive.
For Schneider Electric, this initiative falls under the Access to Energy program, which aims to address three key issues in emerging economies:
Innovation- Building adequate dedicated offers to combat the of lack of equipment
Business- Providing financial resources to support the creation of innovative companies in the electricity market
People- Providing training in energy management to overcome the shortage of expertise.
In its current setup, the College can host a total of 600 young trainees and will be expected to train 100 students every year in the Electrical and Renewable Energy curriculum.