ENGINEERING: New Skills Plan
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE engineering industry in the Western Cape employs over 30 000 people and is pivotal to providing services and production to a diverse market both locally and internationally. Members are to be found in the foundry industry, steel industry, ship repair, boat building, offshore oil and gas, precision engineering, tool making, auto components, light and heavy engineering, boiler manufacture, electronics, IT component production, and plastic conversion.
Recognising the tremendous skills shortage being faced by the industry, the Cape Engineers & Founders Association has been engaging with all the stakeholders to re-capacitate the industry’s ‘hands-on’ skills base. Typically - fitters and turners, boilermakers, electricians, toolmakers and welders are in great demand. Stakeholders identified are the employers represented by the Cape Engineers & Founders Association, the Metal, Engineering and Related Skills Education and Training Authority (MERSETA), the FET colleges, private training providers, the trade unions and provincial sponsored industry support establishments.
In conjunction with MERSETA an innovative Accelerated Artisan Training Programme has been introduced. The Provincial Development Council has also been persuaded by the Association to form a skills development forum for the industry so that all stakeholders can come together to understand the challenges faced and to set common objectives, says executive chairman Colin Boyes.
The association has been leading the lobby to government to introduce an export duty on scrap metal exported out of South Africa. Scrap metal, both ferrous and non ferrous, is a strategic resource that is vital to the success of many companies in the metal industry. The recognition of its importance is clearly understood by China which has imposed an export duty of 40%, while India has placed a total ban on such exports. “It is beyond our comprehension that there are no controls on the export of scrap metal from South Africa as evidence points to much of it being stolen,” Boyes says.
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