The DEKRA Institute of Learning (IOL) and the Swift Skills Academy – two leaders in the South African training sector – have launched a very distinctive strategic partnership to boost industry-related and health and safety training; as well as other artisan training and employment opportunities in the Western Cape and the rest of the country. The partnership between these two educational powerhouses will empower learners, ensuring that they receive the best possible training in health and safety, welding, boiler making and other related fields, followed by experiential apprenticeships and job placements with reputable companies.
As the recognised global leader in NDT and inspections for 96 years, including 38 years in South Africa, DEKRA Industrial expanded its operations to include a training division - the DEKRA Institute of Learning - in early 2020.
“The Institute was created as an affordable remote and classroom-based resource for individuals looking to train in industry-related, as well as health and safety disciplines. With the inception of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, this turned out to be a strategically and operationally well-timed endeavour, as remote learning became the ‘new normal’ in terms of training. As a result, the Institute is growing at a rapid pace,” says Christopher Mörsner, Head of the Training Division at DEKRA Industrial’s Institute of Learning.
Since their inception 10 years ago, the Swift Skills Academy in the Western Cape has provided accredited training to learners studying in the marine, petrochemical and engineering industries, equipping candidates with the requisite skills - including applied techniques within the welding and fabrication industry, and problem-solving. The Skills Academy also offers business administration and soft skills training in the engineering and business sectors.
“In taking the decision last year to form this partnership, both organisations are leveraging a very strong mutual synergy - based not only on our complementary capabilities and offerings - but also our common ethos of honesty, integrity and a genuine dedication to the development and empowerment of our learners,” asserts Mörsner.
Roslyn Williams, Chief Operating Offier (COO) of the Swift Skills Academy agrees: “Unlike so many other companies which enter into partnership agreements, what really sets us apart is that we are not only vested in our own respective interests – but in each other’s.
The Institute of Learning has graciously created a profile for us on their online learning platform; and together, this partnership is offering both learners and clients a significant basket of offerings. For example, DEKRA Industrial can now assist in placing our candidates in apprenticeship programmes or employment; and in turn, we are able to share DEKRA Industrial’s NDT capabilities and services with our industry partners and clients.”
Williams points out that the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting employment crisis has made it more necessary than ever for organisations to come together and make a difference for people in need of training and employment opportunities:
“Both the DEKRA Institute of Learning and the Swift Skills Academy are passionate about education and training. Our partnership has therefore effectively created a very valuable resource which will help those who need it most!”
While both institutions have continued to operate independently, the strategic partnership has allowed them to pool resources, with a mutually vested interest in education, upskilling and placement of candidates in the industries they serve.
“Through our collaboration, we are poised to make a much-needed impact on the South African employment landscape. The training and skills which our partnership offers, will provide a foothold for learners who are looking to upskill themselves during the pandemic and thereafter,” Mörsner observes.
“Furthermore, as DEKRA Industrial continues to expand its footprint in the Western Cape, we are seeing the need for industry-related, health and safety training and services in that region, and are excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring both parties,” he adds.
Mörsner continues: “One of our primary objectives is to enhance welding safety and awareness throughout South Africa. Through our partnership with the Swift Skills Academy, DEKRA will be able to provide weld quality evaluation and thereby improving the competency of learners’ practical skills and experiential training.
This partnership is therefore two-fold, in that it will filter more accredited welding candidates into the Western Cape – and the rest of the country - and create much-needed job opportunities through apprenticeship and experiential on-site training and employment.
In summary, the partnership between the DEKRA Institute of Learning and Swift Training Academy provides both parties with access to new market opportunities. It is a collaborative effort that is a true reflection of both organisations’ ethos of reciprocity, developed in the interests of creating better safety and quality standards and providing skills development opportunities.
“Our mutual aim is to empower our learners with employable skills – particularly as we continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and all its associated consequences. Learners will also be able to rest assured that their studies are being facilitated by two professionally accredited training institutions - which truly do have their interests at heart,” Mörsner concludes.