Over the past week Schneider Electric participated at the French-South African Business Forum in a panel discussion which focused on a new approach to building skills for the future.

The discussion dealt with education, vocational training, entrepreneurship and access to energy.

“Schneider Electric South Africa (SESA) has a dedicated sustainable development programme that focuses on creating access to energy and access to education,” said Albert Fuchet, Cluster president for Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa.

Objectives for South Africa

The French-South Africa Schneider Electric Centre (F’SASEC) network was established by Schneider Electric in conjunction with the Schneider Electric Foundation and the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research at five tertiary education institutions across South Africa.

These are Vaal University of Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Sedibeng TVET College, University of Johannesburg and University of Cape Town.

F’SASEC has deployed Professor Alexander Sebastiani, who has been based in South Africa since 2011, to transfer best practices from the French education system to the partners that form the network.

The programme has incorporated practical training, digitalisation of teaching methods, with a key focus on vocational training and life skills training to prepare artisans for the industry. It promotes and supports commitment from its employees and retirees through its teachers programme, says Schneider Electric.

Furthermore, teachers are invited to South Africa to teach on subject matters of interest for student training as well as lead the trainer courses.

Commitment to collaboration

SESA has signed a statement of intent with the South African National Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to expand their access to education training collaboration.

“South African industries need to upskill their workforce and invest in integrated IT systems to handle the increased speed of change, attracting the right digital talent, training and developing the existing workforce to understand and operate these new and smart technologies is equally important,” concluded Zanelle Dalglish, Schneider Electric’s head of Sustainable Development for Anglophone Africa.