Dec 16, 2011
New welding school aims to produce skilled artisansBack
Construction|Engineering|Africa|CoAL|Coal-fired Power Station|Eskom|Fabrication|Gas|Mining|Nuclear|Petrochemicals|Pipe|Projects|Safety|Training|Welding|Africa|Equipment|Manufacturing|Oil And Gas|Petrochemicals|Environmental|Power|Pipe|Proximity
© Reuse this
Aveng Grinaker-LTA MD Grahame McCaig said: “There is currently a dire shortage of skills in South Africa’s mechanical and piping construction industry, and we are forecasting a further significant deficit of skills in this field. The skills shortage in the welding discipline is currently the most pressing issue. Further, we are facing low levels of productivity and the quality of the welding output needs to be improved.”
McCaig added that this forecast was based on future capital projects planned for South Africa, including State-owned power utility Eskom’s coal-fired power plants, nuclear projects, petrochemicals giant Sasol’s upgrades and environmental projects, national oil company PetroSA’s Mthombo refinery and various mining plants.
Being one of the largest mechanical construction companies working in the oil and gas sector in South Africa, the company was driven by the current skills deficit as a factor in its decision to open a 50-training-bay welding school, besides other reasons. Its initial target is to train 300 pipe-coded welders.
McCaig told Engineering News that there was a need to improve the skills of welders as well as their productivity and effi- ciency, and to ensure that they adhered to the safety standards of the industry.
“The programme will start at the end of January 2012 and there are two courses offered: one for new intakes and the other for company employees already identified as having the basic skills and needing to qualify and improve their welding skills. New entrants will be new employees coming into the company as trainees,” said McCaig.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony of the welding school, South African petrochemi- cals group Sasol Synfuels MD Stephan Schoeman told Engineering News that the company spends significant sums of money on projects each year and it intends to spend about R40-billion over the next three years.
McCaig argued that skills transfer and training should be a collective effort from industry roleplayers as, in the long term, it would affect the quality of skilled personnel working on signifi- cant projects and also encourage a culture of skills training in future.
Aveng Grinaker-LTA’s Vanderbijlpark facility boasts a pipe spool fabrication shop which, McCaig said, makes it the ideal place to train welders. “
We seek to replicate the training model used in areas such as Saldanha, where we are currently establishing a pressure vessel manufacturing facility with process equipment manufacturer KNM, of Malaysia, as well as Coega, Durban, Witbank and Lephalale, within close proximity to Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired power station,” he said.
The initial focus of the new school is the welding trade. Going forward, Aveng Grinaker-LTA is looking to go into partnership with indus- try and government to enable the extension of training to other trades, such as boilermaking, pipe fitting, rigging and electrical.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other News This Week News
Updated 2 hours 24 minutes ago The World Bank on Tuesday unveiled a new plan that calls for $16-billion in funding to help African people and countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent's resilience to climate shocks. The Africa climate business plan, titled ‘Accelerating...
Updated 2 hours 36 minutes ago The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank, issued on Wednesday its first South African rand-denominated green bond, raising around $71-million for climate-friendly investments in emerging markets. The nine-year R1-billion paper was issued...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has the potential to completely change the relationships between individual consumers, professional designers and manufacturers. So argued Loughborough University Reader in Computer Aided Product Design Dr Ian...
Airbus Defence and Space: Military Aircraft has highlighted that its A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) has significant commonalities with the Airbus A330-200 commercial airliner, upon which it is based. The South African Air Force (SAAF) once operated a fleet of...
Financial services provider Nedbank launched the second edition of its Carbon Footprinting Guide earlier this month, which is aimed at demystifying carbon footprint approaches and help readers grasp the main concepts of carbon measuring, monitoring, reporting and...
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Caterpillar’s first backhoe loader. This also coincides with the worldwide release of its latest-generation F2 series backhoe loader, which was launched at supply chain services company Barloworld Logistics’ Big Dig Day in...
A shortage of software engineers is leading to fewer information technology (IT) projects in private and public sector organisations. This also places a dampener on the economy, as IT is an integral part of business and civil service, says University of Witwatersrand...