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The demand for well-trained staff remains high in the chemical sector. In order to help in this area, the Antwerp non-profit organisation SIRA has organised extra training opportunities for less well qualified young job-seekers. With the new, compact training course, they can acquire all the knowledge and skills they need to work as process operators in 8.5 months. SIRA will be supported by multiple member companies within essenscia, the sector’s training fund Co-valent and the unions ABVV, BBTK, ACV, LBC-NVK.

The non-profit organisation Scheikundige Industrie Regio Antwerpen (SIRA) has been training young job-seekers between the ages of 18 and 25 to work as process operators for over 30 years. Over one academic year, they will complete Basic Training in Chemical Technology via a system of part-time learning and working.

During the standard ten month course, the youngsters have lessons for two days and work for three days. The updated compact course encompasses three lesson days and two working days and successful participants will be able to start working in mid-April, having completed a block-placement for five weeks.

The training is intended for youngsters with an interest in technology who do not have a higher or university qualification. Youngsters will not be able to access the course directly from secondary education, as these pupils have the opportunity to complete the Chemical Processing Technology course in their seventh year, which will also be provided in the dual course format.

SIRA course participants can complete placements in the follow companies: 3M, Air Liquide, Arlanxeo, Ashland, BASF, Bayer, Borealis, Covestro, Eurochem, Evonik, ExxonMobil, Indaver, INEOS Oxide, INEOS Styrolution, Inovyn, LANXESS, Monument Chemical, Oiltanking and Total.