Samsung East Africa in conjunction with the Technical University of Kenya to launch an air conditioning and refrigeration engineering academy at the institution.
The academy will equip students with hands-on skills in the repair and maintenance of air conditioning and refrigeration units with the aim of offering practical training and therefore creating opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
The facility is an extension of the Samsung Engineering Academy that was set-up in 2012 at the Woodvale Centre in Westlands to address the technical and engineering skills shortage in Kenya and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Samsung’s main goal is to develop 10,000 Electronics Engineers across Africa by 2015 by exposing them to the necessary vocational training.
This will curb the unemployment burden in Kenya that has seen 800,000 Kenyans join the labour market each year and only 50,000 succeed in getting professional jobs. Many graduates resort to working in the informal sector or remaining unemployed, with far-reaching consequences for Kenya’s economy.
Speaking during the launch, Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed, lauded Samsung’s efforts in actively participating in skills-sharing programmes, which he said are critical to Kenya’s economic and social development.
“As we position ourselves for greater sustained economic growth, we foresee a need for specialized technical skills, which will not only ensure that we have trained labour and entrepreneurs, but also ensure that consumers who require repair and maintenance services can acquire them from professionally trained personnel,” said Mohamed.
Samsung is looking at closing the gap between engineers who possess the right practical skills hence the establishment. At the same time, this will give a chance to the youth in the entrepreneur industry.
The new facility will have an initial intake of 60 students who will go through a one -year vocational training that includes three months of apprenticeship within Samsung or its service partners. The training module also includes life skills to help the students start their own enterprises.
Since its launch in Kenya, the Engineering Academy has trained over 250 students in technical fields in line with its different business segments: Internet & Mobile which covers mobile phones and tablets, and Consumer Electronics which covers home appliances such as televisions, home theatres and sound systems, microwaves, refrigerators and washing machines among others.
The electronics company is committed to developing technicians and engineers through innovative programs designed to address specific needs.