Manufacturing is one of the cornerstones of South Africa's economy, but the country has been suffering from a critical shortage of technically skilled people in the industry. The tooling manufacturing sector, represented by the Toolmaking Association of SA (TASA),which supplies the manufacturing industry with the tools it needs to produce the goods that people use every day, has been particularly badly hit.
To address this skills shortage, the National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTI), a programme of TASA in collaboration with the DTI, introduced the TDM Powered Programme, which equips aspiring toolmakers with the skills to start their careers, ensuring that a sufficient number of artisans and engineers are trained to meet South Africa's future tooling manufacturing needs.
The programme was launched in 2010 and has since then seen the first group of students pass through the theoretical and practical courses, and complete three months of on the job training supported by companies such as CBI, Nampak, BMW and Flextech, and in industries as diverse as the automotive, medical, military, packing and rail.
In July and August the NTIP will launch a national recruitment drive aimed at attracting students that have recently finished their matric into the first phase of the 2012 TDM Powered Programme.
The Programme offers training to students at twelve sites across South Africa, and comprises three sub-programmes: an apprenticeship (artisan) programme, followed by master artisan, and engineering programmes. The Apprenticeship Programme consists of four levels, namely a Foundation Level (optional), Machining Level 1 (year 1), Machining Level 2 (year 2) and in the last year a choice between five specialisation routes (year 3).
The Foundation Level prepares students and incumbents in the industry who might need special support for apprenticeship training in the tooling manufacturing industry. In addition to brushing up on mathematics and science, the Foundation Level incorporates remedial work in areas where weaknesses may have been picked up, for example, technical English. The Foundation Level is designed to raise candidates' level of competency prior to them following a specific tooling manufacturing career path.
It is presented over a period of nine months and comprises three phases, namely applied and fundamental theory, practical workshop training and on the job training in the industry. Once students have completed the Foundation Level, they are encouraged to carry on with Level 1 of the Apprenticeship.
Students who do not need special support can enter the TDM Powered Apprenticeship Programme Machining Level 1 directly. Machining Level 1 and 2 comprise six months fundamental and applied theory, workshop practice and three months of on the job industry training in every apprenticeship year. At Level 3 of the TDM Powered Apprenticeship Programme students specialise in one of five areas, namely plastics and glass, metal pressing, casting, die casting and patternmaking, jigs and fixtures and precision machining. Students receive an artisan qualification on completion of this level.
Students who wish to further their careers can obtain the core skills to become a master artisan with an engineering diploma from a university of technology. Students can also qualify as engineers by completing a university degree.
For the pilot phase of the programme students' course fees are sponsored by the programme and participants also receive a training allowance during the three months of on the job training.
Students looking for a career that offers above average salaries, job security and interesting challenges in a clean, safe, high technology environment should seriously consider the tooling manufacturing industry.
Want more information? The National Tooling Initiative Programme will be presenting career days at the following sites:
- South West Gauteng College for FET -Soweto - 21 July 2011 from 09:00 to 15:00
- Ekurhuleni East College for FET - Kwa-Thema Campus - 26 July 2011 from 09:00 to 15:00
- Nkangala College for FET - Middelburg - 26 July 2011 from 09:00 to 15:00
- Coega Training Centre - Port Elizabeth - 2 August from 09:00 to 15:00
- Coastal College for FET - Durban - 4 August from 09:00 to 15:00
- Umgungundlovu College for FET - Plessislaer Campus, Pietermaritzburg - 5 August from 09:00 to 15:00
- Tshwane South College for FET - City of Tshwane - 11 August from 09:00 to 15:00
- Xstrata Eastern Limb Training Centre - Steelpoort, Mpumalanga - 11 Aug from 09:00 to 15:00
- Northlink College for FET College - Wingfield, Cape Town - 16 August from 09:00 to 15:00
- Border Training Centre - East London - 16 August from 09:00 to 15:00
- Denel Technical Academy - Kempton Park - 16 August from 09:00 to 15:00
Interested students can also contact the TDM Powered office at 078-816-3970, email us at email@example.com or write to P O Box 35497, Menlo Park, Pretoria, 0102
About the National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTI)
The National Tooling Initiative (NTI) is an initiative that has, as a national objective, the rehabilitation of the South African tool, die and mould making (TDM) industry and thereby contributing to a strategic growth stimulator for manufacturing and technical skills development.
The NTI has been developed as a national, multi-stakeholder initiative and structured as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), working with the Department of Trade and Industry. TASA (the Toolmaking Association of South Africa) has played a founding role in the establishment of the NTI. A subsidiary of TASA, NTIP (Pty) Ltd was founded and is acting as the management and delivery agency for the NTI. For more information visit www.ntipweb.co.za
For more information:
Dirk van Dyk
Chief Executive Officer
National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTIP)
Tel: 012 643 9360