Bogota – Colombia, April 2016: A WEEE Training Workshop was organized by the National Training Service of Colombia (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje – SENA), with support from the SRI Programme, on 18 to 22 April 2016, at the SENA’s facilities in Bogota, Colombia.
The goal of the Workshop was to provide training on WEEE management to SENA instructors, with the aim to providing professional training courses for e-waste professionals in the long term. The training at SENA has been developed in consecutive steps by the Centre of Electricity, Electronics and Telecommunications (Centro de Electricidad, Electrónica y Telecomunicaciones – CEET) since 2013 with support of the SRI Programme. This initiative was framed within the requirements defined by the Colombian Technical Standards for recycling of WEEE. These standards aim to ensure that workers in WEEE treatment plants are able to adequately perform their activities, and thus aims to initiate the path towards professionalization of this sector. In this regard, SENA was required to train and certify such personnel according to the Standards requirements and hence requested the SRI Project to support the design of this train the trainer workshop.
The Workshop was divided into two sessions: a theoretical session and a practical one. After providing a WEEE overview, the theoretical session covered a wide array of topics, such as its national and international management, legislation, technical standards, general considerations for WEEE industrial plants as well as processes and tools required for WEEE disassembly. This session was attended by 75 participants, most of them SENA instructors and apprentices. During the practical session, participants had the opportunity to disassemble different WEEE equipment. This lead them to identify potentially dangerous components and carried out the economic balance of disassembly by using an Excel based tool that was provided to them. Participants in this session included representatives of 9 WEEE management companies in Colombia, the SRI Project Coordinator in Peru, one representative from the Peruvian’s National Service for Training in Industrial Employment (Servicio Nacional de Adiestramiento en Trabajo Industrial – SENATI) and 18 SENA instructors from different regions, such as Cundinamarca, Cali, Bucaramanga, Neiva, Medellin, Pereira, Manizales, Barranquilla and Bogota.
Workshop presenters involved Angel Camacho (consultant of the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development – MADS), Carlos Hernandez, (coordinator of SRI Project in Colombia and the National Cleaner Production Centre), Heinz Böni, (Technology and Society Lab of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology – EMPA) and Markus Spitzbart, (international expert and manager of the company DRZ in Austria), .
Next steps include dissemination by SENA instructors of the knowledge acquired during the Training Workshop to other SENA instructors and apprentices in the areas of electricity, electronics and telecommunications, in order to foster sustainable management of WEEE. Also, the design of a basic course for WEEE disassembly will be initiated and will later be open to interested industry professionals. Finally, a replica of this Training Workshop is expected to be held in Peru during the third quarter of 2016, led by SENATI with support of the SRI Programme.