FIGHTING INEQUALITY THROUGH SAMSUNG’S EQUAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

In 2018, at the peak of the construction and integration of the Egina FPSO, over 3,000 Nigerians were employed by Samsung (SHI-MCI).

The challenge was that most of these employees had no industry qualifications or experience before starting work on the project.

Samsung chose to meet this challenge head-on not by mobilising employees from overseas but instead investing 560,000 manhours of training programs with one goal in mind: to identify future Nigerian talent who could participate in the historic completion of the Egina FPSO.

This transformation resulted in thousands of Nigerians eventually joining Samsung team to form the core of Samsung’s first heavy industries operation on the African continent.

When Godwin Oghenegueke was hired as a cleaner of Samsung’s welding floor in 2014, he never expected that he would have a chance to be one of the first beneficiaries of Samsung’s free-of-charge welding training course.

“I started by watching over the shoulders of the students grinding, welding and coating. Seeing this, the Korean instructors invited me to help them with small tasks. Even though it was a small thing, having seen my commitment and hard work, they invited me to train with them. They said ‘ok let this guy to learn to weld.’” He is now an internationally-certified welder, permanently hired by Samsung as a professional welder.

Godwin’s instructor remembers how Godwin watched intently and enthusiastically over the shoulders of the first batch of trainees. Goanghun Kim, a senior trainer at Samsung’s Welding Qualification Center (WQC) noted that, “passion” and “enthusiasm to learn and improve” are the most valued attributes they seek in Samsung’s future team members.

“There was lot of resistance amongst existing trainees. They saw him as beneath them. We told those students that background is not important. As long as you are devoted in developing your skills, that’s what matters to us.”

Creating equal opportunities and instilling an inclusive work culture enabled Samsung to break record after record. Motivated by trust and without the constraints of societal prejudice, Samsung’s Nigerian trainees and employees were propelled to keep pushing the boundaries of industry norms; Samsung can proudly boast a 100% pass rate in the international welder training program…

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