A new project to promote Excellence Training in Maintenance in South Mediterranean Countries (SM-TMC)

South Mediterranean Tunisian Maintenance Centre of Excellence (SM-TMC) is a project that addresses the employability of academic and technical staff and aims to improve their living conditions through a new education and training framework by interacting with the socio-economic sector. To achieve these objectives, the SM-TMC will focus on stablishing a maintenance engineering training Centre in Tunisian Higher Educations by adapting the program to the needs and structure of Tunisian industrial companies. To improve education & training and enhance collaboration between industry and university, a national organization South Tunisian Maintenance Centre of Excellence, TMC, and a TMC-Expert Group will be established with member universities and companies. The strong relationship between industrial companies and the development of the curricula will strengthen the quality of the maintenance engineering programme. A unified system for Open Educational Resources (OERs) and E-learning resources will be developed for STMC-Knowledge Platform for education and training. This platform will enable communication between students, teachers, company staff and stakeholders. Finally, all this curricula, training materials and e-learning platform is expected to have impact in improving the company climate, performance, training quality and maintenance engineering education. Furthermore, the access to female students and unemployed individuals will be promoted, thus providing the opportunity to take part as an employee in the maintenance field.

According to the statistical results of the World Bank, the unemployment rate in Tunisia in 2021 is 16.8, and Tunisia is currently facing a high level of unemployment. In particular, the youth unemployment rate is three times higher than the adult unemployment rate. Despite the high level of unemployment, access to higher education opportunities is getting better in Tunisia. This means that young people are well educated, but insufficient job creation increases the unemployment rate among young people with a high level of education2. On the other hand, many firms report that they cannot find employees to meet their needs2. As a solution, training centres and higher educations should focus on market needs and equip people with the right qualifications. Also, to solve the problems, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Educations (HEs) curricula need to be better linked to workplace training by encouraging more active involvement of firms, so that VET and HEs can respond to the needs of the sectors. In this way, firms can improve productivity and product quality.

For example, the Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Industries (MEEI) account for 18% of the Tunisian market. However, industrial organisations suffer from a shortage of skilled workers, especially qualified technicians to maintain electrical and mechanical equipment, resulting in lower productivity and quality of products. To overcome the problem, qualified maintenance engineers with production management skills can be trained.3

Under these circumstances in Tunisia, the SM-TMC project is expected to have a significant impact on the participating organisations, target groups, applicants, and other stakeholders. The expected impact on the participants can be demonstrated at three levels; – developing a specialised curricula in the field of maintenance engineering and management at bachelor and master level (Higher Education level) – establishing a joint training and certification programme to compile the skills of maintenance operators, technicians and engineers (VET level) – establishing a Tunisian Maintenance Centre of Excellence which will be responsible for all education, training and certification activities as well as Higher Education and industry cooperation and knowledge transfer.

The project will be held in Tunisia, France, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.

You can find more information about the project partners in here;  

University of Sfax (project coordinator) https://univ-sfax.tn/ ,  Universite de Gabes http://www.univgb.rnu.tn/Fr/accueil_46_3, Université de Carthage http://www.ucar.rnu.tn/, Université de Jendouba http://www.uj.rnu.tn/Fr/accueil_46_4, CCIT https://ccitunis.org.tn/fr/home/ , Socomenin SA https://www.socomenin.com.tn/, Universitas Galatiensis https://www.ugal.ro/, Universidade de Vigo https://www.uvigo.gal/, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 https://www.univ-lyon3.fr/accueil-en, Plasmatrix https://plasmatrix-materials.com/, EWF https://www.ewf.be/.