By Mark Mfikoe, National Director, ECA(SA)

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has approved the Electrical Contractors Association’s application to train 200 unemployed youth as apprentices in the building construction electrical trade with the support from the National Skills Fund. This training will not cost the beneficiaries anything. You could therefore argue without any trouble that there is indeed free tertiary education and skill transfer in the Republic of South Africa. The aim is to produce these electricians who would not only be capable of being employed in the industry but also be employers in the industry and enhance the transformation imperatives of the country.

The aim of the project is to turn 200 qualifying persons into registered people, in terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations, by 2020. There will be no short cuts. Our respect for this trade is too big for us to do anything other than a perfect job. The trust placed in us by the Department of Higher Education and Training to deliver on this project is something we take so seriously that I, as the National Director of this association, will manage the project closely. When we are done, there will be 200 licenced electricians unleashed into the industry. Beneficiaries of this project will develop capacity to employ people in South Africa.

Given its focus and bias towards the marginalised, without totally neglecting other members of other communities, this project will contribute towards the transformation agenda of the Republic and add positively to the economic and employment growth and social development action plans.

The geographic spread of the beneficiaries is as follows: There will be 20 apprentices from Brits of which four will be white and 16 black and largely from the rural villages around Brits. We must accelerate transformation. The combined figures in Tshwane and Ekurhuleni consists of 100 of which 20 will be white and 80 black. In Johannesburg, we will have 60 apprentices of which 50 will be black. In Sedibeng we will train 20 apprentices. More than 25% of these beneficiaries will be women of which 49 of them will be young black women.

We will be advertising in our various publications, as we hereby do, inviting apprentices from these areas to submit their applications. We will prioritise apprentices with N2 Electrical Heavy Current as a minimum. We will place the apprentices with employers where they will get the opportunity to impress and secure employment and build value adding relationships.

The early bird catches the worm, according to the saying, so please send your applications to zinhle@ecasa.co.za. Even if you are a company owner and want to take on apprentices in these areas please email Zinhle and express your interest. With your help we will be able to resource our industry and complement the existing skilled workforce as we strive for excellence.

More info: zinhle@ecasa.co.za


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