Credit and investment insurance solutions provider Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) highlights that its belief in the socioeconomic development potential of the country has led the company to identify skills development for the construction industry as one of the focus areas for its corporate social investment (CSI) initiative.
The Department of Labour identified the skills shortage as particularly high among artisans, technicians and skilled labourers. Through training programmes, the CSI interventions in this area seek to increase the number of people with essential skills to improve their chances of employment, or create jobs that are aligned with the export industry.
“The interventions in this area prioritise trades and artisans, apprenticeships and graduate training programmes,” states ECIC CEO Kutoane Kutoane.
Because learners and artisans are faced with the challenge of limited bursaries being available from government, students are financed by their relatives or seek bank loans to finance their studies. They travel between about 25 km and 105 km a day and use two to four taxis to travel to classes, with some using both taxis and trains, says Kutoane.
ECIC has funded six learners from previously disadvantaged communities currently enrolled for the three-year Yacht and Boat Building construction qualification at the Yatch and Boat Building Academy at technical vocational education and training provider False Bay College.
All six of the students successfully completed their second-level theoretical studies and have been placed to do the six months experiential training in different companies. The completion of the three-year study programme will provide the students with job opportunities in numerous sectors in such as transport, aviation and boat building.
The programme comprises national certificate courses offered at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 2 and 3 and a Further Education and Training (FET) certificate at NQF Level 4. The NQF Level 3 national certificate is a prerequisite for enrolment for the Yatch and Boat Building NQF Level 4 FET certificate.
The full NQF Level 4 qualification is offered as a three-year, full-time course, with six months of each year offered at the academy and the following six months spent in the industry dedicated to experiential learning.
The course content includes design, marine joinery/woodwork, fibreglass/polymer composites fabrication, metalwork/welding, manufacture of marine components, and marine systems and computer-aided drawing.
False Bay College is a public college offering vocational, occupational and skills development programmes. The college established the Yacht and Boat Building Academy in 2006 to offer structured National Certificate: Yatch and Boat Building courses.
ECIC states that it is dedicated to its mandate and is focused on strategic initiatives impacting on South Africa’s socioeconomic development. “These initiatives will continue, as we believe ECIC makes a valuable contribution,” concludes Kutoane.