Once they have completed their training they will be placed at municipalities and contracting companies
A TOTAL of 160 learners in the Northern Cape have been selected to participate in the Artisan Construction Programme launched recently.
The programme will address the scarcity of skills in trades like electricians and plumbing.
During the launch of the programme in Kuruman last week, the acting MEC of Roads and Public Works on the day, Lebogang Mothlaping, pointed out that of 160 learners, 29 women were enrolled in the electrical trade and 65 women in the plumbing trade.
“This sets the recruitment rate of women versus males at 59%, meaning that we are defying the stereotype that construction is a male-dominated industry.”
Mothlaping added that although reports suggested that there was a slight drop in the unemployment rate in the Province, it remained high.
“A summary of the labour market in the Northern Cape for October to December 2017 reflects an unemployment rate of 27.1 percent, an expanded unemployment rate of 40.5 percent, an absorption rate of 40.7 percent and a labour force participation rate of 55.9 percent. These figures, released by Statistics SA, prove that much intervention is needed to fight the scourge of poverty and unemployment in the Province.”
According to Mothlaping, the Artisan Construction Programme will see the training of youth, and afford learners an opportunity to make an impact in their community.
“Obtaining a qualification, being absorbed in the formal labour market and earning a salary is the first step in your journey towards economic participation; progressing towards the ultimate goal of economic freedom,” he told the learners at the launch.
The training of the 160 learners will commence next month and will see 60 learners being trained to become electricians and 100 to become plumbers.
“Upon completion of the Plumbing Artisanship Programme learners will receive a qualification equivalent to NQF Level 4 and upon completion of the Electrical Artisanship Programme learners will receive a qualification equivalent to NQF Level 3. Upon exit, the learners will be qualified electricians and plumbers with a red seal.”
Once they have completed their training they will be placed at municipalities and contracting companies.
“They will play a significant role as part of the Back to Basics Programme to reduce wastages of water and electricity, positively contributing to the saving of municipal funds. This programme will provide learners from rural areas with the opportunity to get better jobs, better workplaces, better security and to reduce poverty in our communities.”
Stakeholders in the project include the Northern Cape Rural Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College as the training provider and Construction CETA, which is the funding partner. The department will provide protective clothing and on the job training and will partner with the municipalities in terms of the facilitation of the work placement of the learners.
“More of these joint ventures are needed to fight the scourge of poverty and to develop qualified and working youth which is the gateway to a growing economy,” Mothlaping added.