Samsung Honours First Graduating Class of the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy in South Africa


Pilot programme proves successful as students move into the workforce

31 January 2011

The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy’s first class of Grade 12 students graduated today at a ceremony held at the Alberton Civic Centre in Boksburg, South Africa. Launched in March last year, the Academy is a core part of Samsung’s vision to fast-track the entry of African youths into the electronics job market, with a short-term goal to develop 10,000 Electronics Engineers across the continent by 2015.

Bhekisipho Twala, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Statistical Science at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering Science at the University of Johannesburg, addressed the students and guests, commending Samsung’s efforts to drive excellence in the field of Engineering. “South Africa needs more well-qualified matriculants, particularly in the fields of maths, science and engineering, which are subjects essential to so many jobs that are critical to the country’s competitiveness on a global scale. By addressing this demand, Samsung is investing in future innovation on the continent.”

Each graduate received a certificate of completion and certificates of achievement were presented to all graduates who achieved over 80%. The Academy’s top three achievers in each Grade were awarded Galaxy Tabs, while Refiloe Machaba in Grade 10 walked away with a Samsung Galaxy Tab and 32” LED TV as the Overall Top Achiever for 2011.

Samsung Electronics’ Engineering Academy provides hands-on, vocational skills training at no cost for 120 Grade 10 - 12 students from four technical high schools in the Ekurhuleni municipality: Katlehong Technical High School, Fumana Secondary School, Landulwazi Secondary School, and Vosloorus Comprehensive School. In addition to ensuring that the continent develops an adequate pool of engineering skills, the academy will provide learners with skilled, well-paying job opportunities– a commitment that supports the South African government’s drive to address the problem of youth unemployment. The graduates will now be placed in positions at Samsung’s service centre, knock-down plant and call centre partners in Gauteng.

“As we expand into Africa we are striving to not only act ethically, but to positively impact the communities where our consumers live,” says CEO and President of Samsung Electronics Africa, KK Park. “We believe we will have the greatest impact by connecting our CSR initiatives to our history and core business. Skilled graduates are key to helping us reach our business goals, providing us with a workforce of technicians and exclusive service experts needed to differentiate Samsung as a quality service-oriented company. With the goal to grow our business on the continent, we also know that we have to sustain our level of innovation. This can only be achieved if we invest in education to facilitate thought-leadership in Africa.”

Students go through a year’s programme comprising basic, intermediate and advanced engineering skills, aligned to their set curriculum at school. Samsung works closely with the Electrical Technology Facilitator in the district so that the Academy does not only supplement the school curriculum, but also introduces students to industry appropriate skills, tools and equipment.

Today’s graduation ceremony also marks the end of the pilot phase for Samsung’s Electronics Engineering Academy programme, with the second Academy set to be launched tomorrow, 1 February, in Kenya, and the third in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2012. It will be scaled to several other African countries in the next few years.

The academies are a part of the company’s global ‘Hope for Children’ initiative, which places a strategic focus on bringing attention to the worldwide need for childhood education and healthcare in an effort to improve communities worldwide.

About Samsung Hope for Children
Since our founding in 1969, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has worked with passion and purpose to actively serve as a generous and ethical corporate citizen everywhere we operate. Samsung Hope for Children programme was launched globally to bring attention to the worldwide need for childhood education and healthcare. By supplying Samsung products, lending our expertise and providing financial support, we’re able to give thousands of children in communities around the world access to education, mentorship, leadership skills and life-saving medical treatment. It is one of the ways in which Samsung uses our innovation to create a better world. For more information, please visit http://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/citizenship/hopeforchildren/

About Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2010 consolidated sales of US$135.8 billion. Employing approximately 190,500 people in 206 offices across 68 countries, the company operates two separate organisations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognised for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com

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