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Smart Grid Essentials Course Available on NetSpace NOW!

Cisco and its partner BFE Oldenburg from Germany made a new course available on the learning platform of the Cisco Networking Academy:

The 80 hours learning material provides insights on smart grid technology and reflects the technical regulation in Germany.

The course is available in German language at the beginning. Every existing instructor on NetSpace has immediate access to the new course material. Instructor training is not mandatory.

Why do we need an intelligent grid system?
We are experiencing a transition in energy supply all over the globe. Renewable energy sources produce more and more of the electrical energy demand in many countries. When we use solar and wind energy, energy providers face a significant challenge: Fluctuating energy production with changing weather conditions.

Intelligence in the grid system can help to balance the ups and downs in energy production and consumption. What will be installed in many countries over the next decade is known as a smart grid.

Grid system
Smart Grid is an Internet of Everything implementation in the energy sector
The smart grid system is a huge IT implementation program. While traditional meters were read out once a year, modern digital meters provide data every 5 minutes, every day, 12 months a year. Data about the actual household consumption and information about the grid situation has to be exchanged over an IP based network.

Electrical installers lack the competence to install a smart grid system
Traditional vocational education for electrical installers does not include competences to connect intelligent devices with the internet. But this is the qualification that millions of electrical installers all over the world will need in the next year.

Cisco and its partner BFE Oldenburg from Germany developed a course material that will help to close the skills gap in electrical engineering. We are convinced that this will support individual employability and will help to roll our an intelligent grid infrastructure.

Smart Grid home installations

Smart Grid Essentials provides competences to install smart electrical devices
The 80 hours course explains the functionality and required devices of a smart grid home system. Students will learn how to connect smart meters with a home area network (HAN) and integrating smart meter gateways in a wide area network (WAN). Instructors can expect detailed installation procedures for smart meter installation and security aspects of a smart grid system based on German technical regulations.



Germany: National IT Skills Competition

DM-IT_FieteBoernerThe aim of the WorldSkills Germany IT Network Technology Competition is to identify and reward the best IT network professionals in the PC industry. However, WorldSkills Germany also provides valuable support to vocational training, and bridges the gap between business, politics and the public.

Countrywide, Cisco academies organize regional preliminaries and the 16 people who qualified went on to participate in the Federal competition. The competition included 4 disciplines:

  • Linux operating System
  • Microsoft Server administration
  • Networking Skills
  • Presentation and Communication.

A number of stakeholders joined forces to support the competition: Cisco, the Ministry of Education, the Linux Professional Institute, Computacenter, the chamber of Commerce in Neubrandenburg and the public vocational training center in the city. The jury members were a group of vocational training teachers and vocational trainers from private companies.

The overall winner was Simon Stamm from Hannover. Simon will join the German EuroSkills team to compete for medals at the EuroSkills competition in Lille, France on the 2 – 4 October 2014. He will also  represent the country at the WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo in August 2015.

For further information please visit the following link (German only) or contact Carsten Johnson.

This was a new experience: Working side by side with the Pros

Guest Author: Sophie Bauditz

Internship @Cisco – An e-Skills for jobs 2014 Action

We are 11 pupils from two secondary schools in Berlin: the French Gymnasium and the Berlin Metropolitan School. For two weeks we went on an exploration journey into the internet technology. Everybody in our group is using apps every day, is downloading videos and listening to streamed music. During our internship at the global network company Cisco we learned which technology is behind all that.


Many Cisco employees spent a lot of time with us telling their personal professional story or sharing technical insides about the network technology with us. We continued understanding the technical infrastructure by using courses from the Networking Academy learning platform. We even had the chance to speak with real customers and to participate in the development of marketing material. This was a new experience: Working side by side with the pros. It was surprising how many different functions such an IT company has to offer: Sales, Marketing, corporate social responsibility and of course system engineering. A global IT company is not a place for techies only. But using all communication and collaboration solutions is essential.

Fascinating for me were the perspectives on the Internet of Everything – or IoE as they say and the non-profit partnership with schools and universities: the Cisco Networking Academy. We have learnt and experienced a lot in only two weeks. Our host during the internship, Carsten Johnson, has discussed with us career opportunities in the IT sector and we know now that there is a skills gap. Or in my perspective: Empty seats to fill in the IT industry. An IT-company as an employer? Sure one of the most thrilling options.

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As an intern I had the chance to make this great experience. E-Skills for Jobs is a good initiative to support young people like myself. Further IT-companies should participate.

eSkills_logo Grand-Coalition-blue-background

Conference in Brussels – Pledge Tracking


Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

The European Commission invited IT companies and local initiatives which joined forces to fight the skills gap AND youth unemployment to Brussels on 3rd of October 2013. The meeting after 6 months of activity since the launching event was dedicated to progress reports and the objective to support alliances among the pledges. Commissioner Nelie Kroess discussed with the pledges where they see potential for support from the policy makers. The diverse responsibility of Ministries and regional governments was highlighted as a problem. There should be a central access point for digital society in all member countries. The request for financial support from the EU Commission was raise by several small initiatives and NGOs. Commissioner Kroess promised to bring these arguments on the table when she meets with prime ministers and with the cabinet.
Nelie Kroess blog

In interactive workshops the participants from pledging institutions discussed the progress of their projects and identified areas for potential collaboration. The variety of launched actions under the umbrella of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is amazing. The range spans from local job placement and apprenticeship initiatives to ambitious global learning management platforms. At the moment there are 41 pledges listed on the EU Commission website. A new platform was introduced where pledgers can report the progress of their project.

Cisco is one of the members of the Grand Coalition with a high reputation and visibility with the pledges to align the vendor backed certifications with the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) and the development of learning material for Smart Grid installers. One week before the conference SVP Chris Dedicoat met Commissioner Kroess and briefed her about the progress regarding Smart Grid content development. The EU Commission supports the dissemination of the Smart Grid content to as many European countries as possible. Opportunities to support the dissemination with European grants were discussed. There is a chance that localization and implementation to smaller European countries can be speed up with the support of the EU.


Pledge Tracker

Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

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