Western Cape government takes on the challenge of tackling the skills shortages in the region with the launch of an artisan development programme in the province. The objective of the programme is to up skill and train local workers and provide employment opportunities for young individuals.
The programme is a collaboration between the private sector, communities, Skills Education Training Authorities (SETAs) and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. R5.8-million has been set aside to promote and train artisans in the region.
Minister Alan Winde, the Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister, commented that the scarcity and lack of artisans in the region could have a devastating effect and impact on the local economy moving forward given the critical importance of these type of skills when it comes to service delivery especially within the engineering sector.
The goal and objective of the programme is to educate and train individuals with the necessary skills and in turn create and ongoing supply of qualified and skilled artisan who in turn can obtain employment and play an important role in advancing and growing of emerging sectors such as oil and gas industry.
The initial stage of the program will provide the necessary funding and support for 200 young individuals to complete their training and prepare them to take the National Trade Test exams. The programme will also focus on training teachers and coaches within the 72 companies who have opted to join the programme and assist them to train the young candidates whilst they are interning in these companies.
The programme is also aligned and works in parallel with the government’s National Development Plan which recognizes the importance of artisanship which can provide “shock absorbers for extreme poverty and platforms for self-employment” within developing economies and countries.
According to recent statements and comments from the National Development Plan, South Africa will need to produce at least 30000 artisan annually and the Western Cape government want to play its part in helping the National Development Plan achieve its national objectives and goals.