Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy

Preparing current and future engineers for tomorrow’s opportunities
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What is SCETA?

Gaining the skills to succeed

Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA) is a unique initiative designed to equip engineering and engineering technology students in Canada, and our own Siemens engineers, with the educational and professional foundation required for successful careers.

Siemens Canada conceived and is developing this initiative to ensure that Siemens and other Canadian companies – as well as the country at large – have the skilled workforce needed to meet the technological challenges and opportunities of the future.

SCETA is managed and directed by three full-time staff – including a Director, who reports to Siemens Canada's President & CEO. Governance is provided by a Steering Committee whose members represent the divisions within Siemens.

In concert with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), and with funding provided by the Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada, Siemens Canada is piloting an innovative model of an industry-led Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP). SCETA houses this WILP Pilot, which is named the Dual Education Program in SCETA language. Learn more about the innovative WILP model .

In May 2015, SCETA welcomed its first class of students in its Dual Education Program. This is an enhanced skills training and career-start program in which students 'earn as they learn'.  Engineering and engineering technology students completing two years of study at Siemens' five partner schools (currently in Ontario and Alberta only) can apply to the program. Select students are admitted into this enhanced co-op program, conducted during students' co-op terms. Students are hired as Siemens Canada employees and paid a full-time salary for their remaining two years of academic study. Their last two years of school tuition is also paid by Siemens. Upon graduation, select students are offered full-time positions at Siemens Canada.

In 2015, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and Siemens Canada began a pilot of an industry-led Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP) in Canada. This pilot received financial support and guidance from the Government of Canada, through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The WILP Pilot is known, in SCETA language, as the Dual Education Program.

The Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program is the global industry standard in skills certification for mechatronic systems. This certification is now available to Canadian students via Siemens' partnership with Canadian universities and colleges. Partner schools, like Sheridan College and Seneca College, once qualified and certified by Siemens, integrate one or more of the three levels of mechatronic certification into their curricula and conduct this program in their own classrooms.

In 2017, Siemens will consolidate its many relationships with academic partners to ensure a unified and corporate-wide apprenticeship plan.

SCETA designs and conducts knowledge courses related to the Siemens portfolio that enhance the engineering and technology knowledge of all Siemens full-time employees. Tailored to the role/responsibilities of its attendees, these in-house courses help employees support Siemens growth and success from all positions in the company. (Siemens employees, please visit the Siemens intranet for additional information.)

Siemens is representing the needs of its engineering workforce as one voice with professional engineering associations. SCETA provides training of best engineering practices required for its engineer employees to comply with applicable rules of conduct.  (Siemens employees, please visit the Siemens intranet for additional information.)

The Dual Education Program

Earn as you learn

SCETA's Dual Education Program launched in May of 2015 with its first class of 30 students. SCETA students graduate within two years, with full attendance of two 4-month sessions at the Academy.

The program is an enhanced skills training and career-start program with a range of compelling benefits to engineering/engineering technology students:

  • Students attend an enhanced co-op program at Siemens Canada during their final two years of university/college, during established academic co-op terms
  • They are hired by Siemens Canada and paid a full-time salary and benefits throughout their enrollment with SCETA
  • Siemens pays their tuition while they are enrolled with SCETA for up to a maximum of  two years prior to their graduation from university or college
  • Upon graduation, select students are offered full-time positions at Siemens Canada

Learning methodologies include classroom, e-learning, Siemens systems and product training, mentorship rotations across Siemens business units, and additional hands-on experience in various areas of applications.

There are five schools in Ontario and Alberta participating in SCETA's Dual Education Program:University of Waterloo, Mohawk College, University of Alberta, McMaster University, NAIT.

Future plans will see the Dual Education Program expand nationally.

In the Dual Education program, the partner schools and Siemens Canada work closely together to provide students with a comprehensive and holistic education. Theory and practice periods alternate, and are delivered in a coordinated and complementary fashion.

Students receive valuable educational and career development opportunities:

  • learn about the most advanced innovations in engineering technology, develop professional skills, and expand their professional network
  • have their educational qualifications enhanced through experience working with the leading-edge experts and technology of Siemens, one of the world's foremost engineering and technology companies
  • graduate with professional and workplace skills to kick-start a successful career in the industry, giving them an advantage over their non-SCETA colleagues

Typical theory periods, which emphasize overall competence and decision-making skills, include:

  • Job-specific specialist technical knowledge
  • Generalist business knowledge
  • Interpersonal/social and 'soft' skills
  • A thematic approach to subjects taught every day for a period of time (i.e. in blocks) or one day per week for an extended period of time

Practical periods, which emphasize real-life experience in a true work environment, include:

  • Career-oriented practical specialist and methodology knowledge
  • "Real" work in the company's projects and day-to-day operations
  • Personalized support from the instructor and/or mentor
  • Business rotation in Siemens Canada's Engineering, Engineering and Technology, Projects/Field Services or Innovation and Design areas

Possible career paths the SCETA student can follow within Siemens Canada include:

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Project Management
  • Business Development
  • Business Management
  • Manufacturing

Engineering and engineering technology students must be enrolled in the co-operative education program at one of the five partner schools.

Specific requirements are as follows:

  • Minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average
  • Availability to complete all educational, training, and co-op work terms with Siemens Canada
  • Willingness to relocate and travel, as required
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents authorized to work in Canada
  • Commitment to work at Siemens on a full-time basis for a minimum of four years after graduation

Applicants should be resourceful - true problem solvers who challenge themselves to find the most effective and efficient solutions to complex challenges. It's a program for those who want to have an impact - to contribute toward the future success of Siemens, its customers, and the world in general.

To apply, students must follow their school's standard co-op application procedure. Contact the school's co-op placement office for more details.

SCETA offers many advantages for engineering students. One University of Waterloo student got sagely advice from his father.

When Christopher Roy (UW) began his engineering studies at the University of Waterloo, he couldn’t have imagined that within three years he would be part of the inaugural Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA).

The Whitby, Ontario, native went to Waterloo for its co-op mechanical engineering program. He had been influenced by his father, a French Canadian from Quebec, who had a positive co-op experience in Sherbrooke, Quebec, years earlier. His father, a programmer, works for IBM, while a sister is also an engineering student at Waterloo.

“My father told me about all the benefits of taking co-op,” said Roy. “I heard Waterloo had the best co-op program, and was recognized for their engineering program.” Roy enjoyed maths and sciences in high school and he took naturally to engineering-related projects, so engineering made sense.

His first co-op placement was in Toronto working for Cadbury as a reliability engineer. “One of the strong features of the co-op program, from my dad’s perspective, was how I could pay for my education at the same time as getting practical experience.” His first work term was spent on campus in Waterloo as a teaching assistant. His other work term was at Alberta’s Fort McMurray – it was a winter term – working for Suncor. “Fort Mac was a great community; the people were great and the community is awesome.”

Still, real world work experience can be eye-opening, he said. “You get to see how different the workplace is from what you learned in school, and how unique it is.” Roy has friends at other universities who elected not to take co-op and he has noticed how difficult it is for them to find related work in the summers. “At Waterloo we have a great co-op system in place, so finding a job is much easier than at many other universities.”

He enjoys the campus experience at Waterloo, where every building is seemingly different and unique. “Every building has its own personality,” he said. At Waterloo he played rugby, but a shoulder dislocation, followed by a trip to the hospital, introduced him to the Siemens name when he saw it on various pieces of healthcare equipment. “But at the time I didn’t realize Siemens was involved in all these other industries.”

He first heard about the SCETA program while in the co-op office one day. “I didn’t really know much about Siemens at the time; I just knew I had seen the name everywhere, so I went to their info session. John Da Silva was there as was Dr. Murad, and they did a presentation. I got real excited by that.”

So much so that SCETA became his placement of choice. He was thrilled to be offered a placement at Siemens. “One of the main things I like is that they’re keeping me on for the remainder of my undergraduate program. Most programs are only for four months, so the security is nice here.”

But even more enticing was the fact that with SCETA, he would get the opportunity to work in a variety of areas. There are so many industries involving mechanical engineering; the problem a young student has is trying to narrow that down to one area. “What really sold me on SCETA was how we will have an opportunity to test drive in each of these industries within Siemens such as Wind and Energy Management for example.”

He’ll also have a chance to try different roles, such as project management and reliability maintenance. “You get a feel for what you’ll like, and that way, when we graduate, we’ll have a good idea of the area we’d like to work in. Siemens is a lot bigger than I originally thought.”

After a heavy emphasis on training and learning the lay of the Siemens land during the first part of the summer, Roy and his classmates then began the practical work rotation portion of their training. “It’s been great so far,” he said. “I look forward to finding something I love.”


The Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP)

A new educational model for Canada

In 2015, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and Siemens Canada began a pilot of an industry-led Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP) in Canada. This pilot received financial support and guidance from the Government of Canada, through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The WILP Pilot is known, in SCETA language, as the Dual Education Program.

The WILP model engages the private sector to invest and train their future workforce as a means to further Canada's global competitiveness and success. This is regarded as a structural evolution to Canada's model for post-secondary education, and a strategic long-term investment in Canada's workforce.

In the WILP model, private sector investment supplements public sector funding in education/training. Private sector companies work collaboratively with post-secondary institutions to develop curriculum that bridges the existing gap between the knowledge and skills needed by the Canadian private sector and those currently found in university and college graduates. The hosting company plays an active role in teaching that curriculum.

Siemens Canada is the prime developer, implementer, and tester of the WILP model in the manufacturing sector.  The learning garnered from Siemens' experiences will be adopted into a WILP model that can be applied to additional sectors of the economy, more post-secondary institutions and more regions of Canada.

Benefits for Canada

  • Canada is better able to compete globally; helping to deliver a globally competitive workforce
  • Eliminates current and future skill gaps; an ongoing program that identifies and addresses skills gaps keeps Canada adaptable for whatever new competencies are required
  • Enhances innovation through collaboration; students and partner schools create powerful platforms for collaborative research and innovation
  • Enhances productivity; students graduating post-secondary schools will have the training needed to be productive quickly. This will advance companies time to market.

Benefits for Students

  • Reduces student debt; the private sector offers generous compensation (benefits,  salary, tuition), allowing students to more quickly relieve the burden of student debt
  • Enhances academic studies; provides context and relevance to students' academic studies
  • Increases student's employability; students are better able to successfully compete for top jobs

Benefits for Sector/Company

  • Reduces employee churn; both employers and students have a chance to ensure there's a technical and cultural 'fit' between them
  • Promotes knowledge transfer within the company; through reverse mentoring the company's workforce stays aware of new developments
  • Respond quickly to changing skill needs; companies can benefit by responding quickly to their changing skills needs

Benefits for Post-Secondary Educational Institutions

  • Informs core curriculum change in line with industry needs at little risk
  • Companies place the tools/technologies/processes required for today's knowledge/skill needs in the hands of partner schools

The WILP Difference

The following chart compares the role stakeholders have in the current post-secondary educational model, to their role in the WILP Model.

Current Educational Model
The WILP Model
Fund educational institutions
+ Provides seed funding for start-up and operation of WILP
+ Promotes the concept of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and the importance of better integration of, and career opportunities for youth in the workplace
Pay tuition to partner school
Do not pay tuition for WILP:
+ they are paid by company as full time hire 
+ remaining two years of academic tuition is paid by company
+ WILP mentor experience provides real-life application of education 
+ WILP learning is designed to be cumulative/additive - across WILP courses, WILP years
Hires and mentors students for co-op terms in work environment
+ designs curriculum according to sector needs
+ delivers curriculum in school-like setting (incl. mentor experience in work environment)
+ commits to possible full-time jobs upon completion
+ integrates students as 'full employees' assigned to dedicated and competent mentors
+ broad participation of existing company workforce as mentors, influencing culture change
Post-Secondary Educational Institutions
Designs and delivers curriculum for
school terms. May have co-op program
+ Works with sector/company to validate WILP curriculum
+ Works with sector/company to offer complementary WILP curricula for students during school terms that better matches skill requirements

Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program (SMSCP)

Offering a unique holistic approach

Mechatronics is the synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics and computers - along with control and systems theory - into a complex, single system.

By enabling improved efficiency, productivity and quality, mechatronics is having an ever-greater impact on production and manufacturing - whether it's cars, household appliances, public transportation systems or electric power generators. It affects almost every aspect of daily life.

As a global leader in mechatronics engineering and automated systems technologies, Siemens has an international certification program called the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP). This program has been a cornerstone of Siemens' renowned Siemens Akademie Technik  in Berlin. The SMSCP is offered by Siemens with partner schools in 10 countries, most recently in Canada. Through SCETA, this certification is now available to students.

Large and small companies, industrial organizations and associations, schools and government agencies have all recognized the SMSCP as essential to the future of manufacturing.

There are three levels of certification. Each is directly tied to a job profile that clearly defines what certified personnel should be able to do.  While these levels are "stackable," each can also be a standalone entity.

  • Level 1: Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Assistant
  • Level 2: Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Associate
  • Level 3: Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Professional

1. At post-secondary schools, as part of their curriculum

The SMSCP is designed to be seamlessly integrated into a school's curriculum, enabling the student to receive both an industry certification in mechatronic training and a school diploma. Working with post-secondary educational institutions, Siemens assists in the physical and curriculum requirements needed for the school to offer the program to its students at its location. As of April 2016, Seneca College and Sheridan College offer Mechatronic training onsite. Mohawk College will launch its SMSCP in fall 2016.

2. Students enrolled in SCETA's Dual Education Program will receive SMSCP training as part of their curriculum.

Graduates will attain a Level 1 certificate (Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Assistant).

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