BY Georgina Kekea
THE country’s electrical authority, Solomon Power will this year venture into a new apprenticeship programme.
In a notice issued to the public, Solomon Power revealed that the apprenticeship programme will work within the scope of the National Apprenticeship and Traineeship Policy.
The notice said this is to make sure the apprentices are developed into competent tradespersons and technicians in the field of electrical, mechanical and possibly civil and telecommunications engineering.
This programme is said to be the first of its kind by Solomon Power. Expected to cost half a million per year for the State Owned Enterprise (SOE), this apprenticeship programme aims to groom future employees of the company in the engineering department.
Faced with attitude and behavioural problems towards work by employees, this initiative is well thought to be a solution to this ongoing problem.
Speaking to Island Sun, Solomon Power’s Training and Development Officer, Salome Tahisihaka says under this apprenticeship programme, trainees will be expected to be in contractual agreement with Solomon Power and fulfill their terms and conditions under the apprenticeship programme.
“Their performance must be in line with the company’s expectation.”
Ms Tahisihaka says if trained and groomed by the company in their initial employment, chances for Solomon Power to have qualified and well-disciplined staff will be high.
“Currently we are faced with lack of qualified engineers, especially local engineers,” she said.
The programme will comprise a fixed term of four years for the trade and technical levels and will consist an off-the-job component for a theoretical course of instruction at a recognised tertiary institution.
Also a part of this apprenticeship programme is on-the-job for trainees to work within the engineering departments of Solomon Power. The programme will be supplemented by relevant and mandatory in-house training provided by Solomon Power for its workforce.
Considering the high number of youth unemployment rate in Solomon Islands, the move by Solomon Power wouldn’t have come at a better time.
Reports on unemployment rates in Solomon Islands cited that almost 80 out of a 100 youths in the country are said to be without formal jobs. With an ever increasing number of unplaced students every year, the country is faced with a dilemma to find solutions to this problem.
The apprenticeship programme at Solomon Power, though will not be able to solve the problem, at least will assist about 10 young Solomon Islanders who are serious about pursuing a career in the engineering department of Solomon Power.
This apprenticeship programme seeks applications from both boys and girls. Form 6 is the minimum qualification. Application will close Monday, February 12, 2018.