More than 20 aspiring welding entrepreneurs have graduated after completing a training course under the Mpumalanga Informal Welders Recruitment Programme, which was organised by the Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority.
MSI CEO Victor Mashego says this is the first group that benefited from the Mpumalanga Informal Welders Recruitment Programme, which was launched in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, last year.
The programme is aimed at assisting rural and township-based informal fabricators to gain easier access to market and grow their businesses.
“It is not a secret that South Africa's economy is not creating jobs, so this initiative will see most graduates being converted into business owners through the incubation which is the core business of MSI. Our aim is to create future black industrialists who have the necessary skills, knowledge and resources to create sustainable jobs and contribute to the growth of rural and township economy,” Mashego says.
He adds that MSI also plans to establish a Mpumalanga Welders & Fabricators Portal and a mobile phone app that will assist recruited small business owners to access international and domestic market opportunities.
Meanwhile, a further 100 recruits will start training under the Mpumalanga Informal Welders Recruitment Programme, in March.