Opportunities for artisans

December 6th, 2013, Published in Articles: Vector

South Africa must train 50 000 new artisans by 2015 and at least 30 000 additional engineers by 2014 to meet skilled labour demands, according to Walter Kirkwood, past president of the Steel Engineering Industry Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA). In 1982, Kirkwood established a training centre giving artisans the opportunity to embark on a career in the metal and engineering sectors.

The Fundi training centre provides apprenticeships in nine trades for careers in the sector, and offers basic, intermediate and advanced training in both apprenticeships and leanerships, as well as in artisan up-skilling.

Apprenticeships include electrician, fitter and turner, instrument mechanic, boilermaker, welder, millwright, and tool, jig and die making. SEIFSA outsourced the day-to-day management of the centre to Gijima Human Capital Management in 2004.

Fundi has been awarded numerous training projects where more than 75% of artisans were awarded apprenticeship positions. It also offers specialised courses on industrial safety, trade test preparation, control and instrumentation, hydraulics and pneumatics, among others.

Fundi is fully accredited by the MerSETA, CHIETA and EW-Seta and hosts more than 30 private companies with every intake. 2013 saw an intake of 250 apprentices, 15% of whom were women.

SEIFSA provides ten bursaries each year to applicants from disadvantaged communities. Intake dates for 2014 are 7 January; 1 April; 23 June and 15 September.

Contact Alison Spratley, SEIFSA, Tel 082 467-1213, media@seifsa.co.za

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