The Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) Foundation is inviting players in the welding industry to channel their social responsibility budgets towards a noble cause – helping train young people to give them a life-time career in the welding industry.
The SAIW Foundation is currently partnered by steel production company ArcelorMittal and gas supplier Afrox in two separate projects, which are providing a total of 30 apprentices with top-class training, enabling these young people to achieve high-level welding skills and begin a life-time career in the industry.
In these projects, SAIW provides the required institutional training, while the partner company can either provide workplace training or assist in placing the apprentices with an employer organisation. Both projects are well underway and headed for success.
In addition, the foundation is currently providing training to two International Welding Technologist (IWT) students, Landi Xaba and Mmaphete Boipeto Robin Phete. The students are now about halfway through their IWT programme and will successfully complete the coveted qualification.
SAIW Foundation was established in 2013 as a nonprofit organisation to provide training and qualification opportunities to needy students. The foundation is funded by donations and is able to provide tax certificates, allowing companies to deduct donations from taxable income.
“There is a great opportunity for our industry members and clients to join with the SAIW Foundation to use all or part of their social expenditure to train people and let them achieve qualifications which will stand them in good stead for life-changing opportunities,” says SAIW caretaker executive director Jim Guild.
He adds that donations to the SAIW Foundation can be substantial or minor, in line with the donor company’s budget.
“Perhaps a company may just want to provide funding for one or two young students to obtain a welding or non-destructive testing (NDT) qualification such as IWT, SAIW and IIW Welding Inspector or Surface and Volume testing NDT qualifications to give them a head start in the job market,” he says.
Guild explains that in such instances the foundation can do all the ‘leg-work’, identify and recruit the beneficiaries, as well as try to help them find work. However, the donor company has the benefit of being recognised as the awarding donor.
Alternatively, companies may choose to be involved on a much larger scale by playing a significant role in the development of students, as well as being the funding donor. The current ArcelorMittal and Afrox projects are good examples of this type of project. In all cases, part of the donation is tax deductible.
The management team at SAIW believes joining with the SAIW Foundation as part of the company’s social responsibility is one of the most rewarding initiatives a business can undertake, he concludes.