A PARTICULAR SET OF SKILLS

Peru 2015 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Aurelio Alberto Rebaza, President of SENATI, on vocational education, the role of the private sector in improving human resources, and future objectives for the organization.

 Aurelio Alberto Rebaza
BIOGRAPHY
Aurelio Alberto Rebaza is the National Service Council President at the National Apprenticeship and Industrial Labor Service (SENATI) in Peru. He has served as Board President in the Lima Stock Market and as the CORPAC S.A. Board Vicepresident; Director of Cobrecom S.A., Compañía Minera Raura S.A., Fundición de Metales Vera S.A., Aeroperú S.A., and Comercial Systral S.A. He has carried out positions such as: Administration and Finance Manager of Indeco S.A., Chief Manager of Indusur S.A., and Chief Manager of Inversiones Cercanta S.A. He is an attorney, and graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In addition, he has completed graduate studies at the Academy of American and International Law at Southwestern University, the Legal Foundation in Dallas, Texas, accounting studies at ESAN, and an International MBA in Air Law.

What role does SENATI play in technical and vocational education in Peru?

SENATI was founded under an initiative from the National Society of Industries. At that time, the National Society of Industries analyzed the national economic situation and drew attention to the lack of adequate technicians for the industry. It submitted a bill to congress to help the industrAy be part of the training in new technicians. The goal of SENATI is to train technicians for employment. It adopted the German dual system, in which the student is better prepared by undertaking work experience. Because of this, SENATI has been able to establish 82 educational centers in Peru, develop 64 three year professional technical training careers, and serve around 75,000 students a year. We also have 450,000 worker enrolments in short-term training programs of one or two months. The secret to our success has been the participation of the private sector in the education process.

What does SENATI do to maintain strong links with the private sector?

The structure of leadership in SENATI is composed of people in the industry. For example, currently we have 14 zone managements at the domestic level. We are located in different areas of the country, such as Arequipa, Chiclayo, and the jungle regions. They have boards of directors that are composed of industry members who are nominated by business chambers. These businessmen provide data to SENATI on their needs in the educational arena, because they are in the market and are best positioned to know it. We use this feedback from the businessmen to create our own academic programs for various courses. Besides the participation of the business community, we have consulting boards for different specialties that are also composed of businessmen, who consult on the selection and design of the programas we are set to teach. Among all our graduates, around 12,000 to 13,000 students a year, that is 90%, are immediately employed. The other 10% usually set up their own companies, or will pursue alternative options. We also conduct industry surveys to assess the degree of satisfaction of our students. Through this, we have learned that there is 95% satisfaction of our graduate's overall performance.

What is the importance of international links for SENATI, and what kind of international programs are you developing?

I recently made a trip to Germany to promote links with different universities there. We are establishing links with those German institutions operating the dual system. I also contacted German companies that have the dual system as well. Universities like Mannheim and companies like Bosch, Festo, Mercedes Benz, BMW, and others have the purpose of creating student and faculty exchanges as well as work internships. Independently of those international contacts, we have direct contact with companies such as Komatsu-Mitsui, which has donated $1 million to SENATI to instruct 105 students in the area of heavy machinery. We have also established contacts with other international companies keen to prepare technicians for their domestic operations. In the mining sector, we also have agreements with various companies for heavy machinery maintenance.

Why is having international links important for technical education?

It is important because it updates the field of technology, which is constantly changing. SENATI wants to be the leader of this technological education in Peru precisely by being linked to the international market and education. Generally we have constant contact with all the technical agencies of countries, like GIZ form Germany, French cooperation, JICA from Japan, the Spanish agencies, and also the Brazilian Agencies. We realize constant exchanges to improve our technology in Peru. Annually, an average of 30 foreign experts comes to SENATI to work with our teachers and students.

What are your goals for SENATI?

In the short term, we want to consolidate the investments we have made in infrastructure and equipment. In addition, we want to provide facilities for our students. Most of them come from public schools, and we want them to become first class students and to have all the facilities at their disposal that any other university would provide. On the other hand, we want to boost our Escuela Superior de Tecnología where we aim to position our best students in the development of new technologies.