Shortage of well-trained engineers linked to slow growth in emerging economies

NAIROBI, KENYA: Schneider Electric has partnered with Eastlands College of Technology to launch an Electric and Solar Energy Laboratory in its Campus located off Lunga Lunga road Industrial Area.

The partnership between Schneider Electric and ECT will see the implementation of a three-year qualifying Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering specialised 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. Finally, Schneider Electric will upskill the capacity of trainers at ECT through training of trainers.

Eastlands College of Technology (ECT) is 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 labourers 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 neighbouring 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, and Schneider Electric.

“At Schneider Electric, we believe that Access to Energy is a fundamental right and our committement 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” noted Heripret.

Andrew Olea, the Project Manager of ECT, opined that 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 Kenya’s youth given hope for a decent future of gainful employment.

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.

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