Home » SA Youth Celebrated at Graduation Ceremony of Samsung EEIP EASTC Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technician Programme

SA Youth Celebrated at Graduation Ceremony of Samsung EEIP EASTC Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technician Programme

by Media Xpose

Apprenticeship to grow skills & address ICT education for unemployed youth in South Africa

Samsung Electronics South Africa and the Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre (EASTC) in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), recently celebrated a group of 40 selected apprentices at the Graduation Ceremony of the Samsung EEIP EASTC, a 24-month SETA accredited Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technician Apprenticeship programme.

This programme was started when Samsung became aware of the country’s critical shortage of technicians to service consumer electronics and hand-held devices in the market. The company therefore decided to sponsor a 24-month SETA accredited Air-conditioning and Refrigeration apprenticeship programme in partnership with the EASTC. The programme trained 40 selected apprentices to work with mentors to grow their skills and address ICT education for unemployed youth in South Africa.

The ultimate outcome of this apprenticeship programme is not only to develop Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) skills in Artisans Training, but also to ensure that there’s a portfolio of practical experience and skills that are transferred to improve the EASTC youth’s employability. This group of selected technicians have graduated and completed all the requirements, including trade testing to be certified byEnergy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) as qualified technicians.

Hlubi Shivanda, Director of Business Operations and Innovation and Corporate Affairs at Samsung South Africa said: “This graduation celebration is one of our proudest moments. Since the launch of our R280-million worth Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (“EEIP”) in 2019, our mission has been to empower the country’s youth in the ICT sector and this programme has now produced incredible results.”

This 24-month SETA accredited Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technician Apprenticeship programme is but one of Samsung’s EEIP initiatives that are harnessing the power of technology to train and inspire young people to pursue their ambitions. This technician apprenticeship is a fully funded bursary programme that provides for tuition, equipment and stipends.

It is a comprehensive skills development investment programme that prioritises the delivery of an integrated holistic package of personal, technical, entrepreneurial and business skills – aligned to meet the needs of the country’s economic development strategies.

Simon Ndukwana EASTC CEO said: “As a college, we are very grateful for the partnership with Samsung and the positive impact that this programme is continuing to have on our students. This programme is very important to our students because it is turning them into qualified and accredited artisans with critical ICT skills needed by the country’s economy. This essentially means that the prospects of employment for our students are now raised even higher.”

Emmanuel Hlopulusa saw a recruitment advert for the programme on social media. Having grown up and attended high school in Ivory Park, Tembisa, he applied to participate in the programme. Hlopulusa found the first few months of the programme very difficult because he had no prior exposure to artisan training. The facilitators have now equipped learners such as Hlopulusa with skills to repair and maintain air conditioners and refrigerators.

Hlopulusa said: “We have learnt a lot throughout the programme, including practical experience during the workplace training phase. I did not know anything about aircons and refrigeration, but now this kind of exposure will help me start my own business or increase my chances of being employed in large companies. I am grateful to EASTC and Samsung for sponsoring me throughout this programme.

“I really appreciate the financial support that we received from this programme, because it included a stipend that covered my travel costs to school and money to buy food. I can now proudly call myself a qualified aircon and refrigeration technician and it is all because of Samsung. This programme has improved my chances in life and I really appreciate what this experience has done for me,” concluded Hlopulusa.

With 4IR at the centre of everything that everyone does these days, Samsung is convinced that South Africa now, more than ever, needs to equip the youth to seize the opportunities that lie in the ICT sector. The company’s continued investment efforts in ICT education is ensuring that South Africa’s youth is now gaining artisanal and electronics skills.

Shivanda emphasised: “The success of this apprenticeship programme is an affirmation of our commitment to continue empowering the leaders of tomorrow through educational initiatives that help to change their lives by increasing their prospects for employability or entrepreneurship.”

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