Jubilation for our East African trainees: nine passes!

In September 2015 nine Africans (three women and six men) began their adventure as service technician trainees. In less than two years, they learned the requisite mechanical and electrical knowledge so that they can in future carry out commissioning jobs, overhauls, and maintenance routines for machines and lines at food and beverage plants. All trainees already possessed theoretical knowledge from technical college or university, and in a rigorously practice-orientated curriculum this is now deepened and expanded – by work directly at and with machines and lines for producing foods and beverages.

As is the case in the German training system, too, those responsible regularly check the trainees’ knowledge. Besides the voluntary intermediate exam after one year, the final exam, modeled on the standard of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, was scheduled for July 2017. The examination committee comprised the two trainers from Krones Kenya, three colleagues from Krones’ training team in Neutraubling, plus two examiners who are responsible for electrical and mechanical training at Volkswagen in South Africa.

During the two days of the exam, the nine trainees were visibly nervous: after all, every manipulation they performed was being carefully observed. In three small groups, they started off on Monday with the electricians’ exam: this lasted 6.5 hours and took place in the training center of Krones’ LCS Center in Nairobi. On Wednesday, the cooperation partner Coca-Cola Saboo’s plant was the venue for the four-hour metal exam. “I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to take part in this traing course and gain new knowledge in the field of electronic engineering,” reported Marry Nyingi, one of the trainees.

On Thursday, there were a lot of nervous faces: the results were to be announced. But apprehension swiftly gave way to pure delight – because all nine of them passed their final exams with flying colours. At the graduation closing ceremony on Friday, the participants and their trainers joined in a toast to this success.

“The training programme is the best way to acquire knowledge and experience, and thus to equip the trainees for their future careers as service technicians,” comments Albert Kiio. Together with his colleague Jim Bozire, he will in future be organising and conducting the training himself. And by the way: in January, the programme had already gone into its second round, and the ten trainees involved were preparing diligently for their intermediate exam.