“There’s no denying that power tools are expensive and yet necessary for numerous artisanal trades,” says Nita Luis, founder of family-owned Brights Hardware, a Western Cape based chain of hardware stores that conceptualised the Tools Donation campaign which called on South Africans to donate their unused and unwanted power tools.
“Talented artisans abound in South Africa, but challenging economic times can make these items unaffordable. It is for this reason that we decided to launch the Tools Donation campaign in a bid to help. Ryobi Tools then came on board and agreed to sponsor an exceptionally generous amount of new power tools which were delivered to Learn to Earn at the end of June.”
David Nichol of Ryobi explains that they were approached by Orlando Luis, CEO of Brights, to get involved in the campaign. “Brights is one of our largest customers in the Western Cape and we have a wonderful relationship with the company. When Orlando asked for our support, we were only too happy to get involved in such a worthy cause.”
The selection of tools donated by Ryobi includes mitre saws, planers, table saws, wood lathes, cordless impact drills, sanders, laminate trimmers, grinders, routers, paint sprayers, and drill presses.
Woodworking and handyman skills
Learn to Earn, a charity organisation that aims to assist unemployed and disadvantaged people, has skills development and training centres based in Khayelitsha and Hermanus, and since 1989 has trained 14,166 unemployed people with market-related skills, equipping students to become employees or self-employed entrepreneurs. Learn to Earn offers a woodworking training course in Khayelitsha, as well as a handyman skills course in Hermanus.
According to Learn to Earn, the purpose of their Basic Handyman Skills course is to equip course graduates with the entry-level knowledge and skills required in order to find employment as assistants in any of the following trades: electrical, plumbing, painting or general handyman. It is a 17-week full-time course. The Woodworking course is a 19-week-long full-time course that takes place in Khayelitsha that prepares students to either go on a learnership, or to be skilled enough to seek entry-level employment in the woodwork and cabinetry industry.
Facilitating job creation
“This initiative by Bright’s Hardware will go a long way in equipping and facilitating job creation for previously unemployed people who complete the Woodwork or Basic Handy skills course at Learn to Earn,” says Barbara Lipp, communications manager at Learn To Earn.
“One of the keys to doing a quality job is having the right tools and now our graduates will have the appropriate starter pack of tools when launching their businesses."