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Developing artisans in the Western Cape

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The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) with the assistance of Northlink College, is funding 500 students and will be giving them the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience that will help them to attempt a trade test.

Two groups of 250 students started their practical training at Northlink College Bellville, Belhar and Wingfield Campuses as well as other FET Colleges in the Western Cape and other private providers.

The first group started the first part of the programme, a 12-week institutionalised teaching, which will lead to 18 months work based experience at an accredited provider. This programme is aimed to provide the experience for students that have completed their National Certificate (Vocational) Level 3 and Level 4 as well as National Technical Certificate N2-N6.

Says Dion Miller, Project Manager: Engineering Learnerships and Skills at Northlink College: "Northlink College is glad to have been given the opportunity to work with DEDAT in closing the skills gap and give these students the chance to better their futures with this practical exposure.'

During this programme the students will be given exposure in the specific trades such as Welding, Electrical Engineering, Boiler Making, Civil Engineering and Building Construction, Automotive Repairs, Mechanical Engineering and other occupational trades. By being exposed to these trades and different skills, the students will be able to gain enough experience and knowledge for them to pursue further studies in the field and even attempt a trade test that will allow them to become qualified artisans.

"This programme links with our mission which is to provide quality, relevant and accredited Education and Training that will address the Skills and Developmental needs of all our Stakeholders,' adds Miller.

After the completion of this course the students will be applying their skills in various companies that need artisans in different sectors of the country and after two years of additional experience, they will be able to attempt a trade test to become qualified artisans.

"I have learnt a lot with the help of this programme and know that this will help my future and put me on the right career path,' said Morten Jansen, DEDAT student.

The second group of 250 students is scheduled to start their training within this programme in October this year.

Photo: DEDAT Student, Tefo Khasibe, busy with his practical workshop experience at Northlink College Belhar Campus.

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