Holcim Lanka’s EVE Centre graduates 34 technicians with NVQ qualification

Wednesday, 7 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The EVE Training Centre of Holcim (Lanka) Ltd., the market leader in Sri Lanka’s cement industry, hosted its annual graduation ceremony early last month at the Puttalam plant, which saw the passing out of 34 talented and capable technicians who were awarded with the reputed international NVQ qualification in the trades of electrician and/or metal fabricator. In addition, 16 technicians who were given training on cement technology were awarded with certificates. As a company that focuses on economic, social and environmental performance along the triple bottom line of sustainable development, Holcim Lanka operates the EVE (Enterprise-based Vocational Education) Centre in its Palavi plant in Puttlam. After years of effort to earn and build a level of credibility, today, the EVE Training Centre is well set up and capable of producing young talent that has outstanding technical skills and very good organisational fit. The project to establish EVE in Sri Lanka was started in 2007 with a focus on contributing to the development of National Vocational Education in Sri Lanka by enhancing the employability of the youth in the Puttalam District. As such, the EVE program equips electricians, welders and cement technicians with a very good understanding of the overall cement manufacturing process, giving them the opportunity to master any aspect be it the mechanical or electrical process. Holcim Lanka scouts for candidates for its EVE program through schools and those living in and around the Palavi plant. A two year program sees students go mostly through theory lessons during the first year, with training and coaching done by dedicated trainers from NAITA who have been instrumental for the success of the program thus far. During the first year the students further receive lessons in English and IT along with pneumatics, hydraulics, lathe/milling and AutoCAD in addition to the NVQ curriculum.  In the second year, full-time practical lessons are provided in companies such as Holcim Lanka, Colombo Dockyard Loadstar, etc., where students get valuable insights about real job situations. The first generation of EVE students started their training program in 2007. Today (2013) the seventh generation of the EVE program is being developed to be the future technicians and leaders of the country. The program is run in partnership with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) by the Human Resources department of the Palavi plant and with accreditation from the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission as an “A” grade training provider. As a result, the students receive a NVQ certificate along with a joint certificate from Holcim and NAITA. 28 EVE graduates have thus far secured key technical roles at the plant in Palavi. Other graduates have even gone on to get placements in other industries in Sri Lanka. Currently 99% graduates have received placements within the industry after succeeding in EVE’s vocational training. The course is totally free of charge and the trainees are provided with a monthly allowance by EVE. Transport for the students, meals, scholarships and all the equipment needed (from safety equipment to all tools and materials needed for their studies) are also provided. In the selection process students have to face the selection test and an interview. Selection test includes general knowledge, technical awareness and aptitude. Minimum entry qualification is to pass GCE O/L Examination with Mathematics and Sinhala subjects while priority is given to candidates with science subjects in GCE A/L and also for Puttalam residents. The graduation ceremony was graced by the presence of Chandana Aruvadeva, Chairman, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority and Chief Executive Officer of Holcim (Lanka) Ltd. Philippe Richart. The certificates and trophies were awarded to the students by the distinguished invitees present at the event.  The event was further marked by signing the Memorandum of Understanding between Holcim Lanka and NAITA for a further five years followed by a talent show conducted by the students. Encouraged by the remarkable progress it has achieved within the time span of five years, EVE aims for further success through which they resolve to serve the industry and help raise standards of technicians in country.