MANUFACTURING: Toolmaking School Opened
Recent Western Cape Business News
A new pre-apprenticeship programme created to address the skills shortage in the South African Tool, Die and Mouldmaking (TDM) sector was officially launched in Cape Town yesterday. Classes opened doors for the first time in February 2010 and the programme has harnessed global best practice to ensure the right candidates are trained and properly prepared to pursue careers in the industry and boost the declining sector.
The TDM-Powered Pre-apprentice Orientation Programme is a joint initiative between the National Tooling Initiative (NTI), the Toolmaking Association of South Africa (TASA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and is being launched at seven pilot sites around the country namely Northlink FET College in Western Cape, The Ekurhuleni East College and Missouri Secondary School in Gauteng, Nkangala FET College in Mpumalanga, Umgungundlovu FET College in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Lephalale FET College in Limpopo, and Coega Skills Centre in Eastern Cape.
NTI Chief Executive Officer, Dirk van Dyk, says there is a high turnover rate of people who begin training for a career in the manufacturing industry and then throw in the towel before completing the process. “Globally, the manufacturing industry battles to keep people in manufacturing related training programmes. SA-based research, which scanned “entry rate” versus “qualification rate” across three manufacturing related feeder subjects, showed a staying rate of less than 15%. In similar research conducted in Minnesota in the United States (US), the staying rate was between 30% and 35%, prior to the introduction of any form of pre-apprenticeship intervention.
“A large part of the problem lies in getting the right people onto the programmes in the first place. We realised that only using mathematics and science as indicators of success was not enough. We needed to attract people with a real interest in manufacturing,” says Van Dyk.
In choosing people to attend its first TDM-Powered Pre-apprentice Orientation Programme, NTI developed new techniques and tools to assess which candidates would be most suitable. “It was not only a matter of looking at their maths and science qualifications, but also assessing a number of other factors such as self-drive and resilience,” says Van Dyk.
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