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Boost for artisan skills in N Cape

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The acquisition of the new campus will play a critical role in reigniting opportunities for youth in the Northern Cape.

Town.Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

A TECHNICAL training provider, the Artisan Training Institute (ATI), has announced the acquisition of De Beers’ technical training campus (DBTTC) in Kimberley – a transaction that is believed will bring new economic activity to the Northern Cape.

According to ATI, it is strongly positioned to develop the DBTTC, ensuring an increase in the throughput of trained artisans in the region, and the future operation of the facility.

“Like most emerging markets, South Africa is under pressure to train more artisans. Registered engineering apprentices have decreased radically over the past five years, from approximately 30 000 in 2015/16 to approximately 10 000 youth in training currently,” ATI said.

Sean Jones, managing director of ATI, says the acquisition of the new campus will play a critical role in reigniting opportunities for youth in the Northern Cape.

“We are delighted that the De Beers group has put its trust in ATI to continue the excellent track record of producing skilled artisans at an internationally accredited level at the campus,” says Jones.

“ATI has successfully piloted a mid-level skills programme for Harambee, a leading non-profit organisation focusing on creating livelihoods for youth. The Installation Repair and Maintenance (IRM) programme bridges the gap between engineering theory and work readiness. ATI plans to roll out the IRM programme at the Kimberley facility.

“This approach creates new revenue streams for the centre, making use of some of the vacant workshops and bolstering its corporate social responsibility commitments within the Northern Cape,” Jones added.

“The De Beers campus and ATI have helped create meaningful jobs in a country besieged by extreme youth unemployment. The transaction ensures that this legacy will continue”.

The De Beers training facility was built in 1972 and officially opened in 1973. An estimated 5 000 artisans, mostly from the Northern Cape but also from other parts of South Africa and neighbouring countries, have qualified as artisans since the opening of the centre in 1973.

The 34-hectare campus area comprises an electrical, fitting and turning, plater, diesel mechanic and control and instrumentation section that can accommodate up to 240 learners.

The facility can also provide student lodging in a 1.9-hectare accommodation section.