Turkish engineers qualify as trainers

Essen Power Plant Academy • Soft skills and didactic competences for power station workers

three men with safety vests and protective helmets stand in front of four chimneys

In 2016 and 2017, the Essen Power Plant Academy/PowerTech Training Center (KWS) trained 38 young engineers and technicians from the Samsun Power Station in two modular courses in Turkey on the operation of the plant's gas and steam turbines. This first successful training measure led to an additional programme staged parallel to the second course, during which ten experienced Turkish engineers completed a train-the-trainer seminar in order to qualify as trainers.

The KWS was founded by power plant operators in 1957 and is the main training centre for the German energy sector. In 2018 alone, 2,718 participants completed 310 training courses. The KWS is organised in the form of an association, the members of which include in addition to almost all companies of the power industry also prestigious German companies such as BASF, Bayer, Daimler-Benz, Volkswagen and Siemens.

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KWS PowerTech Training Center

Assessments for tailored training courses

The KWS was commissioned to carry out the 2016 training programme by the Austrian oil and gas company OMW, which owned the Turkish plant at the time. It started by conducting an analysis of potential for 38 members of the operational and maintenance staff. In order to align the training plans to the actual needs of the target group in a precise way, information was collected from every single employee involved with regard to their technical expertise, specialist knowledge, management skills and awareness of the latest status of technology. Two six-week modular training courses were then conducted for the technicians. These took place in Turkish using the KWS's English language learning materials.

The programme began by looking at the basic technical principles of hydro chemistry, materials science and electrics. Detailed information on turbines and steam generators was then provided before the final section of the course dealt closely with everyday operational situations and troubleshooting. Both the assessment and the training itself took place on site at the Turkish power station.

A train-the-trainer measure for ten engineers was also carried out. In this case, there were four course modules which primarily focused on the further development of important soft skills and didactic abilities. Aspects practised included communication and rhetoric, presentation and visualisation techniques, basic didactic and methodological principles and specific training preparation. Further down the line, the participants already developed theoretical and practical instruction units. This all culminated in a practical consideration of educational practice including the development and implementation of training objectives and a chance to network with other trainers.

Recommendations for future training measures

The KWS ultimately used the continuing education measure as a basis for drawing up recommendations for future training measures for the newly qualified trainers. Topics here include the development of suitable learning material, the design of a road map for the training of new staff, the establishment of refresher courses and the creation of a position of training coordinator for the planning and implementation of future training and continuing education measures.


This sucess story was first published in the iMOVE publication Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Case Studies of Train-the-Trainer Solutions.

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