Wed | Aug 16, 2017

JPS partners with Siemens to deliver engineering programme

Published:Sunday | June 4, 2017 | 6:00 AM
Members of the JPS/Siemens PTI Engineering Programme at the launch of the three year programme, which will see them being exposed to power industry technologies. The programme will be delivered at the master’s degree Level.

The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is investing US$500,000 (J$65.1 million), to impart training to its engineering team through a collaborative effort between the JPS Learning and Development Institute and Siemens Power Technologies International (PTI), the training arm of US-based technology company Siemens Industry Incorporated.

The JPS/Siemens PTI Engineering Programme was officially launched on May 26 for select junior and middle-management engineers from critical departments, including generation, system control, transmission and distribution, engineering standards, and testing services, among others. The launch took place at the JPS head office in Kingston.

The training programme, which commences on June 22, 2017, will conclude in the year 2020 and will cover power systems, smart grid operations, grid protection, renewable energy integration, and information technology systems, as well as other areas. The programme is being delivered at the equivalent of a master's level.

JPS Chief Technology Officer Gary Barrow, who addressed the launch, noted that the training comes at a critical time in the history of the electricity sector.

"I don't think there has ever been a time in history when our industry has been impacted by such rapid change," he said. "In fact, there are instances where what is learnt at the beginning of a course of study can become obsolete by the final year of that course."

This, according to Barrow, means that engineers must embrace the reality of continuous learning at the same time as the importance of technology and innovation in national growth and development.

JPS Senior Director of Engineering Blaine Jarrett said that with new, disruptive, and enabling technologies, the company can no longer rely on on-the-job training, sector conferences, and manufacturers' specific training to supplement necessary information on trends and developments. "We must facilitate our engineers remaining at the cutting edge of new technologies," he said.