POND ISLAND, St. Maarten – TelEm Group and the University of St. Martin are embarking on an ambitious training program to upgrade the fiber optic technical skills currently available on St. Maarten.
Starting in April, and covering two advanced training sessions, technicians from within the company as well as invited contractors who wish to be certified as Fiber Optic Technicians, will be taking an intensive course, supervised and certificated by a leading U.S.A. fiber optic company.
During the course, participants will learn all about the workings of fiber optics technology, including how fiber optic cables are installed, spliced and measured.
At the end of the training, participants will be primed and ready to play their part in a massive island-wide Fiber to the Home rollout which is scheduled to begin on St. Maarten this year.
TelEm Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mrs. Helma Etnel, is very excited about the upcoming training and the involvement of the University of St. Martin, (SCELL), having been assured that the training will be at the highest level possible to ensure all areas of Fiber optics installation and design is covered in the shortest possible time.
“It has been acknowledged that we need to increase the number of local technicians trained and certified in Fiber optic installation to meet the scale of TelEm’s Fiber rollout once it begins, so we have to be pro-active by ensuring that we increase these numbers with our own local staff and our own local contractors,” said Mrs. Etnel.
She is encouraging local telecommunication contractors and persons with technical skills to look out for upcoming media announcements from the University of SXM stating when the classes will begin and inviting participants from the general community.
“Those who successfully pass the course and get certified will be in the best position to assist us in the Fiber to the Home rollout once we begin because they will have the required knowledge,” continued Mrs. Etnel.
She said the element of employing local certified fiber optic technicians as subcontractors is an important aspect of the Fiber to the Home rollout which is partly being financed with funds from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
“We will do our best to employ skilled local labour wherever possible on this major project for St. Maarten, and we are going a long way in complying with that wish with this training,” added the CFO.
TelEm Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Mr. Eldert Louisa, said the USA company that will be overseeing the training sessions are responsible for training thousands of technicians each year from the USA and also from other countries where fiber optics is being installed.
“It is a very high-level training covering installation and other technical aspects, along with Outside Plant (OSP) design of fiber cable networks,” said Mr. Louisa.
He said no official date has been set for the start of work on the Fiber to the Home Project, however, personnel have been quietly working behind the scene on three pilot projects where they have been getting hands-on training on fiber optic installation, splicing and measuring.
“Once we begin the rollout in the different districts we will require as many trained technicians as we can get and if they are available locally, all the better for us and for the economy,” said the Technical Chief.
The training program is being coordinated under the auspices of (SCELL) The University of St. Martin’s School of Continuing Education & Life Long Learning who are putting the an extensive program of support for participants along with the Light Brigade fiber optics company based in the USA..
“We are very proud to partner with TelEm Group on this ambitious training,” said SCELL Director, Dr. Gittens, during a recent meeting on the upcoming training program with TelEm Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mrs. Helma Etnel.
She said SCELL has already worked with the company’s Human Resources & Development Department supporting their Professional Training & Development program in addition to providing valuable coaching and mentoring to many of their employees, over the last six months.
“This is just another wonderful opportunity to fully expand on our growing relationship while simultaneously providing valuable opportunities for the St. Maarten Community at large. It is an honor for USM because it allows the community to realize our importance within the community and the valuable role we play in directly strengthening the overall economic sustainability of St. Maarten,” said Dr. Gittens.
Individuals or organizations interested in attending the fiber optics certificated training should visit the SCELL website @ http://www.scell.usmonline.onl/index.php/contact-us/registration. Registration for both trainings are available online with easy payment options. Or call SCELL at 554-2437.