At the end of last year, the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC) issued a province-wide invitation to school leavers to submit applications for its apprenticeship training programme. This enables young people to enter the construction industry, obtain a trade certificate and gain employment.
After an overwhelming response and a series of psychometric tests to determine their suitability, 18 carefully chosen apprentices, including four women, will now begin their training. Another group is expected to start mid-year.
MBAWC executive director, Rob Johnson, says, "These youngsters were selected for their potential to go beyond being apprentices and move through the ranks as skilled artisans and to then further their careers as future leaders in the industry. They will be employed by the MBAWC whilst, receiving training at an accredited training provider and being employed for practical experience in trade categories that best suit their aptitudes. The funding for their training and wages whilst in training is being undertaken by the MBA Development Trust which funds skills training to our members' employees."
2013 has been named by the Department of Higher Education and Training as the 'Year of the Artisan'. According to Minister Blade Nzimande, "For South Africa as a country, one of our biggest priorities is to develop qualified artisans to support our economy..."
"We fully support Minister Nzimande's initiatives and hope to be a part his goals of producing skilled artisans to deal with the shortage of critical skills in South Africa, as well accelerating the process for improving the status and profile of artisan trades as inspirational careers for the large numbers of young South Africans," concludes Johnson.