1000 additional learner artisans to be trained

November 14th, 2013, Published in Articles: Energize

The minister of public enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, has launched the official intake of 1000 additional artisan learners to be trained at six Transnet Engineering (TE) facilities across the country. The launch took place at Transnet’s School of Engineering in Salt River, Cape Town. The Department of Public Enterprises in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education and Training and Transnet commenced a programme to oversee the optimisation of State Owned Companies’ (SOCs) training facilities by enrolling additional artisans for the national pool to address the shortage of scarce and critical skills needed in the country in support of the New Growth Path.

During his 2013 Budget Vote speech, Minister Gigaba committed SOCs to take in young people from across the country for training as artisans and technicians. To implement the plan as part of the National Skills Development Strategy of the country, the minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, as custodian of the National Skills Fund (NSF) agreed with Minister Gigaba that the NSF allocate resources to Transnet to ensure that additional learners are trained at its six facilities across the country. The NSF allocated R175-million to Transnet Engineering to train an additional 1000 learners over the next three years.

Minister Gigaba encouraged SOCs to ensure that beyond providing skills and training to young people, they must provide enterprise development so that the learners have the requisite skills and empowerment opportunities in order to form youth-owned cooperatives and SMMEs to create jobs for themselves and for others. He called on the private sector to ensure that the additional artisans are absorbed into gainful employment opportunities.

Transnet signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three Further Education and Training (FET) institutions in the Western Cape, in line with the government’s prescribed National Skills Accord, where SOCs and the private sector form partnerships with FET institutions to develop skills in the country. Transnet signed the MoU with the False Bay (Khayelitsha), Northlink and West Coast FET colleges. Transnet has opened the School of Engineering facilities in Salt River to learners and educators of the three FET colleges, where the SOCs will provide learners with trade tests and opportunities for practical exposure. This will ensure that SOCs and FETs become key drivers of scarce skills training and development, where artisans, technicians and engineers are the bedrock of the new economic skills set being developed in the country.

Contact Richard Mantu, DPE, Tel 072 488-1520,richard.mantu@dpe.gov.za

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