Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Aug 2009

MANUFACTURING: Sassda Tackle Skills Crisis


Recent Western Cape Business News

The current skills shortfall has been given a boost from the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda). The organisation has launched a bursary scheme to tackle the desperate shortage of artisans in South Africa.

The best applicants will be selected and be awarded performance-linked bursaries for the duration of their studies,” explains Sampie van Rooyen, the chairman of Sassda, “We hope this will make a difference in the lives of entrants and have a significant impact on growing the talent in this country.”

According to the latest figures released by the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) in their Annual Report for 2008, 50 000 artisans need to be trained by 2010 to meet the skills shortfall.

Sassda has been appointed by the Services Seta as an independent service provider to assist with the implementation of the Artisan Aide Project in terms of Section 28 of the amended Manpower Training Act of 1981. The appointment has given Sassda a grant to train 25 Section 28 Candidates in scares skills - welding, fitting and turning, millwrights and boilermaking.

Sassda will primarily be sourcing employed individuals from our member bases to be part of this initiative. Unemployed individuals are also eligible to participate. These participants will be able to obtain their trade test and qualification over a period of one year.

The Seta grant is valid until February 2010.

This is an opportunity for individuals who have achieved various levels of the National Certificate courses. As well as giving opportunity to those who have many years of experience but have not been able to obtain a formal qualification,” explains Janelle Gravett, skills development manager for Sassda, “If individuals have not yet been able to take a trade test or who have failed a trade test and been unable to retake it, will now have an opportunity to do so.” 

The funding from the Services Seta will ensure these individuals complete the required and relevant training and are ready to take the trade test.

Sassda’s bursaries will be provided to students who are either studying or looking to study in Artisan Training Programmes:

  • Welders

  • Boilermakers

  • Sheet Metal Workers

  • Fitters and Turners

  • Millwrights

Five bursars will be selected from Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, totalling 20 bursars. The first intake will be in June 2009 and further intakes will be in January and June 2010.

Bursars will attend accredited Public Further Education Training (FET) Colleges to obtain a National Certificate in either Fitting and Machining or Engineering and Related Design. These qualifications are recognised as part of the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV) programme.

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