Artisan and mining skills training college Colliery Training College (CTC), in Witbank, Mpumalanga, has systems in place to bridge the current skills gap in South Africa.
“The skills gap does not mean an undersupply of artisans, as this is not a huge factor, given the country’s lack of economic growth. The skills gap that we are facing, however, can be interpreted in two ways – a lack of skills in already qualified artisans and a shortcoming in the artisan training curriculum,” says CTC MD Johan Venter.
The college aims to bridge the former skills gap by allowing employers to approach the college for refresher courses that their employees might need. Venter says the latter skills gap is the more serious gap. CTC is currently working on providing training for Artisan 4.0, a trademark that was registered to encompass the new skill set of the artisans of the future.
“With Industry 4.0 upon us, the training that artisans are receiving is outdated and quickly becoming obsolete. CTC is, therefore, trying to train artisans who fit into this new dynamic, by offering relevant and updated training.”
CTC is exploring what type of artisans are required for Industry 4.0. Venter says future artisans will be equipped with many more technological skills than those being provided by training institutions at the moment. “CTC, in close correspondence with equipment manufacturers and employers, is developing a curriculum that will be added to the training of existing artisans and newly trained artisans to make their skills relevant to the industry changes we are facing.”
CTC provides services for private individuals as well as clients who want to send their employees for training. “A private individual can register at our institution and then look for employment. These individuals are highly sought after because they save their employers the cost of basic training,” Venter informs.
The college continues its work by providing training for the industry with its motivation stemming from years of service to South Africa’s mining industry, which makes use of and contributes to the training of artisans.
With CTC being owned by the coal mines in the surrounding area, and with more than 50 years’ experience, the training, and subsequent advancements thereof, will remain beneficial, concludes Venter.