Schneider Electric, a global company that specializes in the digital transformation of energy management and automation solutions has launched a modern Mechatronic and Solar Energy Electrical Laboratory in partnership with St Kizito Vocational Training Institute located in Nairobi Kenya.
This initiative aims to provide students with top-tier technical education, and the opportunity to have hands on training and practice in real-life situations in electrical installation, energy management and automation.
“The initiative will enhance St. Kizito’s training capacity enabling us to produce competitive students that easily fit into the development of Kenya’s economy and at the same time position our institution as preferred destination for youths in the country” says Eng. Giuseppe Valerio, Technical Advisor, St. Kizito Vocational Training Institute.
Through the Schneider Electric Foundation, St Kizito Vocational Training Institute will be equipped with a state-of-the-art laboratory that will enable to enroll in a two-year artisan Knec Certificate Course in Electronics and two craft certificates in Electrical and Electronics.
Additionally, students will also have access to short courses with Internal Certificates in Solar Energy, Industrial Machine Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Home and Factory Automation.
“It is through such collaboration with Schneider Electric and key players in the private sector that the national technical training landscape can be revamped, and our youth given tools for a prosperous future.” He added.
Besides equipping the laboratory, St Kizito will also benefit from a pool of Schneider’s global and local volunteers who will work closely with the institute to enhance and upskill institution’s trainers and instructors in various subjects and disciplines.
St. Kizito Vocational Training Institute aims to provide young men and women from disadvantaged communities with market oriented and demand driven courses following a Dual Training System that combines in-class learning with practical training.
This training strategy is in line with the Government’s Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) which draws on the synergies from the productive sector.
The initiative is part of Schneider Electric’s ambition to train one million people and 10,000 trainers by 2025, which is supported by working with Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions such as St. Kizito who play bridging role of providing the vulnerable population with relevant skills enabling them to participate in the energy market.
“In keeping with Schneider Electric’s innovation-based approach, we aim to implement solutions that bring together student training and the professional world closer. On the strength of the Group’s expertise and the experience of our staff working at our Kenya-based manufacturing facility, we provide training equipment and support built on market demands and preferances, that are designed entirely with development of skills and enhancement of student employability in mind” says Geraldine Sande, Anglophone Africa Business Development Lead for Access to Energy & Education, Schneider Electric East Africa.
“In Kenya, the mark to 100% electrification is still a challenge that cannot be met without developing adequate local technical skills thus, by supporting TVET institutions such as St. Kizito through skilled and hands on training, Schneider Electric provides lasting solutions to Access to Energy and Eentrepreneurship.” she added.
This partnership comes at a time when government and policy makers are shifting focus to Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVET) as a preferable option for higher education for young people. A commitment evidenced in the 2022/23 budget which saw the government allocate Sh 1.8 billion for construction and equitpment enhancement for TVETs and vocational training institutes.
St. Kizito can host a total of 800 young trainees and will be expected to train 200 students every year in the Mechatronic and Renewable Energy curriculum.
In its current setup, the college has had great accomplishments since its inception some of which include a 50% female enrollment across all its courses, a course completion rate of 97% and a 90% employment rate for its students.
To date, Schneider Electric has supported 24 institutions across East Africa as part of it’s Access to Energy program for training and entrepreneurship.