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Despite all these challenges, the academy has been able to train apprentice welders and semi-skilled welders, pipe fabricators, apprentice boilermakers, safety officers and quality control officers equivalent to any standard by any college training artisans anywhere.
BY PRINCE MSIZA
As the chairman of the Students Representatives Forum of Mshiniwami Artisan Academy I’m calling on all stakeholders – the Mpumalanga government, state-owned enterprises and private companies to join hands and support the skills revolution initiatives.
Mshiniwami Artisan Academy continues to train hundreds of young people from all over the province, who are recruited by the Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust to train as artisans.
The program in Secunda was initiated and implemented by the Mpumalanga government under then Premier DD Mabuza, who is now the country’s deputy president, and the training is facilitated and provided by Hydra-Arc.
For the past three years this artisanship programme had a serious challenge of in-service training and placement due to the greater number targeted by the government to train the youth as well as the availabilities of companies to employ the artisans.
But despite all these challenges, the academy has trained apprentice welders, semi-skilled welders, pipe fabricators, apprentice boilermakers, safety officers and quality control officers equivalent to any standard by any college out there training artisans.
We have therefore noted with great concern the fact that a greater number of our students are on semi-skill programme even though some meet full requirements for boilermaking apprentice and welding apprentice – and for that, their training will remain 9months academic training and 12 months work experience but they will need more years of experience in order to attain their Trade Tests.
We therefore call upon our government to consider increasing the number for apprentice through reviewing the budget and conduct regular monitoring of funds and the training.
We would like to urge and call upon different companies to support this initiative for we have noted the fact that a greater number of companies say one thing in public and another in private – for when they are asked to give jobs to our artisans.
Some say we are incompetent or we lack the skills but they continue to recruit more foreign nationals and retrench the locals.
A greater number of companies uses experience requirement to push us aside.
Who will have any experience if no company wishes to give him or her the opportunity to gain one?
We humbly call for different companies to consider recruiting trainees from Mshiniwami Artisan Academy in order for the programme to be more, more of the desired success it was meant for.
*Msiza represents students at the college
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