Surmac training to meet the demand for technical expertise

The Institute of Natural Resources and Engineering Studies (NATIN) and Surmac Caterpillar are joining forces to tackle the lack of technical experts. On April 1, the training Heavy Equipment Fundamentals and Core Skills will start at NATIN. For this purpose, a practical classroom complete with heavy engines and special equipment has been furnished and financed by Surmac. The official opening of this training facility was this morning.

There is a chronic lack of technical experts, says Patrick Peneux, Assistant General Manager of Surmac. "The company is growing and every time it becomes evident what is lacking. It is such that we have recruited staff from the Philippines to mend the hole." With this training course we want to find the required expertise in our own backyard. This cooperation is a way of giving back to the community, says Peneux.

More than just maintenance
After the training, participants will be able to perform maintenance on heavy equipment. In addition to education in diesel engines, drives, hydraulics and electronics, the students will also be taught communications skills. "They will learn to procure in a professional manner, maintain relationships and start and maintain a network", says Ronaldo Panka, coordinator of the training course.

Cynthia Grunberg-Wijngaarde, director of NATIN, hopes that more companies will start supporting technical education. “I am happy that the business community is realizing that they themselves have to step in to tackle this lack of technical expertise. If they want well-trained experts, they have to participate in their education." The classes are given by teachers of NATIN who have been trained by Surmac. The training lasts one year and is intended for persons who have completed their NATIN education and who are active in the branch. It will be considered later on how to integrate this training into regular education.