The National Development Plan (NDP) has set a goal that South Africa should at least produce 30 000 artisans per year by 2030. This call is informed by the current decline of artisans in the construction industry. The decline is as a result of closing down at artisans training centre schools, insufficient practical exposure, unattractiveness of being an artisan and migration of skilled artisans.
In response to the 2030 NDP’s target, the department is in a process to officially launch the first ever regional Artisans Training Centre in Steynsburg.
Currently, through the Expanded Public Works Program, the department is training APTCoD students to become qualified artisans.
Qaqambile Ndzinwa, a qualified Electrician artisan from this region who passed her trade test in Olifantshoek in Pretoria, knows very well the hardship of passing the trade test in another province.
“When time came for me to go Pretoria, I struggled a lot because I did not have enough money to travel. I had to borrow money to book a bus and accommodation. With this centre closer to us now, it will really cut the cost and open doors for many young people” she said.
The construction of the regional artisan centre is nearly its completion. The first intake of students will be registered in 2017. Regional EPWP Manager, Luvuyo Manona, explained the process that will be followed for enrolment to the centre.
“The recruitment process is very simple; all interested young people from this region will be asked to apply for enrolment in an advert that would be issued out by the department. A selection process will then follow and after the selection, all qualifying pupils will be asked to sign a contract with the department.” the Manager said
The department has regional artisan training centres which will feed to the pipelined provincial artisan centre that will serve as a preparatory to the trade test
By Sibusiso Kewu and Luvo Sandlana