The Limpopo‐based Lephalale FET College attracts a student body of which 25% are female and more than 80% are black. Siemens’ relationship with the college commenced in 2007, and was formed as part of its pledge to invest R20 million between 2007 and 2012 through its Technical Artisan Skills Development Investment. Funds have been used to upgrade facilities like equipping eight training workshops to facilitate the training of electrical, fitting, turning, welding and sheet metalworking, as well as one IT training lab.
Siemens’ support of the SAJ Artisan Training Institute, a 50% black owned SME is also linked to the Technical Artisan Skills Development Investment. Funding from Siemens has enabled the Institute to establish and equip a 600 square meter training workshop, which is used to train students in electrical, fitting, turning, welding, boilermaking and pipefitting. SAJ’s student body is predominantly black, with these students accounting for as much as 90% of all college‐goers.
The Siemens Power Academy, an R8 million training investment, was officially launched in theMpumalangaProvince, in eMalahleni in April 2012. The academy provides instrumentation and controls training focused on fossil power generation to learners already in the energy industry working for power utilities, such as Eskom.
The company’s contribution to skills transfer and localisation of projects continues with its involvement in the NX Air switchgear production line at the Siemens manufacturing facility in Northriding, Johannesburg. Siemens’ participation here is the result of a collaboration with Voith Hydro, which has in turn come about through the Ingula Pump Storage Project. The organisation has invested a total of R15 million in pre‐production and main production lines, in this way making it possible to locally produce IEC 62271‐200/100 switchgear equipment which, in the past, has been imported. Siemens facilitated technology transfer, signed manufacturing licenses and trained production engineers. Around 15 new production staff were appointed to aid the process, thus contributing to job creation.
Siemens has also established a relationship with AIDC Student Training Management, a small black enterprise which has enjoyed a successful reputation as a trainer focusing on the automotive industry since 1998, where it acts as a third party training manager to recruit artisan students, as well as place them and monitor their college training. Siemens has further roles in this association too, including preparing, monitoring, mentoring and driving appropriate practical training opportunities for artisans and technicians in the power industry, until the students attain their national diplomas or successfully complete trade tests. 80% of students are African, with the majority coming from rural communities located around Siemens’ infrastructure build projects. This initiative was undertaken by Siemens as part of its commitment to AsgiSA.