Following the completion of an intensive and vigorous 6-month capacity-building training, the management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has graduated and certificated 12 of its employees in the Siemens Sematic PCS7 and Fire Service Control.
‘Siemens Sematic PCS7’, is the computer-based control system that controls and monitors systems at the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant. The system is the main operations system used by operational staff.
The training, which is delivered through a state of the art simulation, was intended to provide employees a uniform knowledge and understanding of the management solution that will enable them to optimize the operations of the plant by examining the power behaviors of different operating units and obtaining information on the power plant status.
Mr. Perry Brown, Sr. Manager for Training and Development at the LEC, told journalist during a press conference that the demand for electricity is growing rapidly and as such, there is a compelling need to plan for the future by ensuring that we have employees trained to operate the Plant with training being a major strategic objectives of the ESBI Management Service Contract, focusing not only on short term requirements but long-term sustainability. ESB International is the Irish company that has managed LEC for the past four and half years to improve the operation performances of individuals of the corporation.
“Today, one of the benefits that came with this program is that we have an accreditation from the Ministry of Education to run our in-house training program. So LEC has been approved to provide certificate programs for LEC staff, and other regional utility operators” he said.
Mr. Brown further indicated that the certification program is not just limited to their staff capacity building development but also for students including those from the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), that are on the LEC’s internship program. He stressed the need to ensure that the LEC’s capacity building programs focus not only on the value chain of the sector which covers mechanical, electrical and civil engineers, but also provide soft skill training programs for administrative staff, in order to maintain a balance in the workforce. He further noted that due to the establishment of the training and development department, LEC had several goals to be achieved, beginning with the development of a training development policy that will guide LEC in achieving its goal.
Speaking further, the Senior Manager for Training and Development revealed to newsmen that the in-house training program came about based on 2 factors:
- The belief that training must be relevant and locally based which naturally generates an inherent need for LEC to be able to meet its training and development requirements from within the organization
- The lack of donor or other funding.
According to him, the program was developed to leverage existing staff capacity whereby managers having high levels of competence serve as Trainer of Trainers (ToT), as well as team building locally.
“One of the benefits of the program is that LEC has an accreditation from the Ministry of education to run our in-house training program” Brown added. Meanwhile, the staff also lauded the management of the corporation for the opportunity provided to them.
They also promised to take make maximum use of the opportunity and that it will be in the best interest of the corporation and Liberia at large.