Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Jul 2011

TRAINING: Injecting Much-Needed Engineering Artisans Into SA’s Economy


Recent Gauteng Business News

A new engineering artisan training facility which will deliver as many as 500 artisans into the South African economy every year was launched by Production Management Institute (PMI) in Johannesburg last week.

The training centre, located in Jet Park, is home to the full infrastructure required to produce qualified electricians, boilermakers and welders - three trades identified as being in particularly serious short supply.

Managing Director of PMI, Tim Smeeton, says: “This is a direct intervention to produce more engineering artisans. We are opening our new Jet Park campus today and next week we will have our first intake of learners.”

The Jet Park campus is housed in PMI’s Technical Training Services division, which also runs several other engineering and mining training sites in the Gauteng, North West, Northern Cape and Free State provinces.

Apprenticeships and learnerships for electricians, boilermakers and welders, as well as specialist short courses in these trades to fit specific employer needs, are being offered at the new facility.

Says Smeeton: “The initial capacity of the Jet Park campus allows for 250 certified engineering artisans to graduate annually though our intention in the short-term is to escalate capacity and double candidate output.

“Location of the training centre in the Johannesburg City Region as well as its focus on engineering skills also represents a response to the needs of industry in Gauteng.”

PMI Technical Training Services is borne out of the acquisition last year of Goldfields External Training Services (GFETS) by PMI parent company, Adcorp Holdings. Adcorp placed the acquisition with PMI as its specialist training and skills development company.

This year, PMI expects to produce up to 1 500 certified artisans across all its operations.

Smeeton says it is hoped that this initiative on the part of business will kick-start more collaboration between private and public sector players in training artisans.

“PMI has long-been the proponent of a coordinated approach by government and business to address skills shortages in South Africa as the problem is far bigger than any one player can handle.”

PMI trains and up-skills people in the workplace in several key economic sectors and produces graduates with accredited apprenticeships, learnerships, certificates, diplomas and degrees, including postgraduate qualifications.

At PMI’s Welkom campus run by its Technical Training Services division in the Free State employees from six mining houses are trained as artisans or up-skilled on an ongoing basis.

South Africa’s shortage of skills, especially artisans, is largely responsible for the country’s ongoing failure to achieve its targeted growth rate.

It is estimated that South Africa currently produces just 5 600 artisans a year while government has set the target of 50 000 new artisans by 2014.

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