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TRAINING: Launch Of W Cape Training Centre

 



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The Western Cape Green Foundry Training Centre, located at Atlantis Foundries on the West Coast near Cape Town, has been officially launched after 18 months of careful research and preparation. The launch was attended by an impressive list of representatives from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), Western Cape Institute of Foundrymen (WCIF), National Foundry Technology Network (NFTN), South African Institute of Foundrymen (SAIF) and the Provincial Economic & Development Departments of the Western Cape and Gauteng.

In his opening address the Deputy Director-General of the DTI, Nimrod Zalk, said, “It is vital to create technology through the practical training of people in the foundry industry, over and above theoretical knowledge. In order to remain competitive the manufacturing industry needs support for the supply of components from the foundries in this country. Up until now there has been a shortage of skills development and the lack of a competent training centre to train artisans at the entry level.

The Western Cape Training centre is a pilot for the roll out of national foundry training centres. Atlantis Foundries, as one of the larger scale industrial foundries in the country, has taken the lead in the establishment of a training centre not only for themselves, but also for the foundry industry in the Western Cape as a whole. It will soon be followed by the roll out of a Gauteng Training centre and possibly one in KZN. The NFTN was established to address this challenge in the industry and has been supported by the DTI, SAIF, GIZ and other institutions in making this possible.

Apart from the obvious benefits of having a professionally run training centre at Atlantis Foundries, concentrating on clean and lean production, it is also a boost to the Atlantis community as trainees from the surrounding areas will be accommodated here during their 3 year training programme.”

Fast learnership programmes are not suitable. What is needed to make the foundry industry competitive locally and internationally is proper training for artisans. One cannot rush educational basics. A suitable standard of training also has to be established. Let us take our foundry operation as an example.

Atlantis Foundries is a highly sophisticated operation, currently employing 1,300 people. The foundry exports high quality engine blocks, for which top level skills are required to meet the demands of the overseas market. One of our challenges is the supply of electricity and the increasing costs, the other is ensuring a steady stream of artisans with the requisite skills levels. This makes the launch of this new Training Centre so important. We are proud to officially launch this invaluable new training facility and for the fact that our foundry has been chosen as the pilot site.”

John Davies, CE of SAIF, concluded, “ This is a true partnership of various government departments and institutions, including the DTI, NFTN, WCIF, GIZ and our own SAIF, that has resulted in the realisation of this project. In particular, I would like to mention Tony O’Brien’s (senior engineer/trainer at Atlantis Foundries) for his enormous contribution in making this opening possible. He has worked tirelessly to set up the new training centre, assisted in compiling the training manuals and mentoring the current group of new trainees, who will be doing their first demonstration pour for a sand casting today.



 
 
 
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