Samsung Electronics hand over engineering academy to Gert Sibande Tvet College

Messrs Sung Yoon (President: Samsung South Africa), Mduduzi Manana (Deputy Minister: Higher Education and Training) and Nick Balkrishen (CEO: Gert Sibande College) after the signing of a memorandum of understanding during the launch of the Samsung Skills Academy in Standerton.

Samsung Electronics launched and handed over a Samsung Engineering Academy to Gert Sibande TVET College Skills Academy and Artisan Development Centre in Standerton on 22 May.

It is part of the company’s corporate citizenship drive.

The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, the President of Samsung South Africa, Mr Sung Yoon and the college CEO, Mr Nick Balkrishen.

This initiative resulted from a partnership between Samsung Electronics South Africa (SSA), merSETA, Gert Sibande TVET College, MICT-SETA and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

This public-private alliance strives to reduce poverty and dependency by providing the youth from underprivileged communities an opportunity to acquire engineering skills and tackle the shortage of technical and engineering skills in Mpumalanga and ultimately South Africa.

The partnership was formed in an attempt to provide access to learning facilities with the vision of transferring skills and creating employment opportunities.

Samsung understands that to create a sustainable future, it is vital to invest in education.

According to the Mr Manana, this initiative is a key component of the national strategy to ensure a developed labour force to fulfil the government’s vision of developing the manufacturing sector.

“The manufacturing sector is by its nature labour intensive and should provide more job opportunities for our youth, while at the same time, building the production capacity of the country,” Mr Manana said.

Samsung designed and equipped the academy according to international standards.

Students, who qualify at the academy, can work at any of Samsung’s service centres worldwide.

Samsung currently has employed more than 100 graduates from academies similar to this one.

According to Mr Yoon, the programme will provide students with the necessary engineering acumen and help give graduates a head-start in the workplace.

Mr Balkrishen emphasised in his welcoming address the importance of training that is relevant and responsive to the needs of the labour market.

“We are excited about the launch of this academy as it will extend the basket of programmes offered by the Gert Sibande Skills Academy.”

He indicated that partnerships such as these ensure that training in scarce skills such as refrigeration and air conditioning, repairs to household appliances and cell phones benefits the community.

“We remain indebted to Samsung for providing this opportunity and are committed to use it optimally.”.

The college council representative, Mr Marthinus Loots, delivered a message of appreciation as well.

“Our gratitude goes to Mr Yoon and his team,” Mr Loots said.

He also said the academy will bring transformation and empowerment to the youth of the Gert Sibande Region and beyond.

Alida Lake

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