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Samsung SDI trains engineers to be ‘tech meisters’

Korean battery maker Samsung SDI is encouraging its employees to become “technology meisters” with financial incentives for workers who improve their professional skills.

The tech firm said last week that 17 meisters -- workers with at least three master certificates -- were added in the first half of this year to 36 existing meisters. There are now a total of 53 meisters.

The technology meister program started at the company’s plant in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, in 2013, and later expanded to its plants in Ulsan, Cheongju and Cheonan.

It usually takes around one year to acquire one master certificate. When the engineers become meisters, they are given additional compensation and points in their performance evaluation from the company. 
Samsung SDI' engineer and meister, Kim Song-hak (Samsung SDI)
Samsung SDI' engineer and meister, Kim Song-hak (Samsung SDI)

“We should pay more attention to the meister system as it can create an opportunity for employees’ self-improvement and also create an academic atmosphere within the company,” said the company CEO Jun Young-hyun.

He also said in a recent meeting with its employees that the system is important for accumulating technologies in the firm’s manufacturing sites.

Apart from the total of 53 meisters, there are now more than 150 employees preparing to become meisters, Samsung SDI said.

Kim Song-hak is one Samsung SDI engineer who has become a meister.

“The technology meister system helped me to take a step forward. It is necessary to learn theories and functions for more efficient work,” he said.

“If there is no knowledge of production sites, it is hard to respond to troubles of facilities initially.”

Kim, who has worked for Samsung SDI for 12 years, has acquired 10 certificates including those on energy management, gas and plumbing over the last five years. 

By Shin Ji-hye (