In the autumn of last year, SEKEM had started the first internationally certified training for welders at the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) on the SEKEM Farm. Recently, the first course of this interesting and challenging training was completed with an exam for the first group trainees.
SEKEM Energy, headquartered in Graz / Austria, developed and coordinated this exercise, which was funded by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). The company Fronius, an Austrian welding machine manufacturer, supplied the VTC with necessary welding equipment. These, too, could be funded under this project. By Fronius, the welding workshop was equipped with safe and modern machines, furnishings, and other protective equipment. For the training itself, the BFI Burgenland, an Austrian provider of adult education courses, sent several experienced welding trainers to Egypt and an Austro-Egyptian expert was hired as an interpreter.
“The goal of our efforts was to prepare Egyptian welders for the growing challenges of modern methods of metal processing in order to empower them to engage in this profession specifically in the field of renewable energy technologies. At the same time, we would like to demonstrate that the profession of the welder is actually a very attractive and versatile occupation”, Birgit Birnstingl, Managing Director of SEKEM Energy, says. “We paid particular attention to not just the employment of modern welding equipment, but also the safe handling of machinery. Specifically in the field of safety, there is still much need for education in Egypt”, instructor Christian Sperker from BFI Burgenland adds.
To obtain the international welding certificate, the participants had to pass a theoretical and a practical exam in front of a qualified auditor, who had traveled to Egypt from Austria solely for this exam. With the acquired knowledge, the participants are now capable of demonstrating their skills as certified welders. They can now also pass on their knowledge to others thanks to the newly built welding workshop.
“From the beginning, the participants in this training showed a lot of commitment and also clearly had a great deal of fun with the welding equipment. In the end, all of them were very proud to hold the certificates their hands”, comments Christian Pelz, Head of the metalworking center Grospetersdorf, BFI Burgenland.
With the new workshop and the training now completed, SEKEM has acquired a new foundation for a high quality education. In future projects, for example in the solar thermal sector, SEKEM will able to draw on this expertise.