QC and Safety officer trainees at Mshiniwami Artisan Training Academy in Secunda graduate with more to follow soon

These safety officers graduated at Mshiniwami Training Academy and have been employed by the Hydra Arc Group. In front are Ms Mavis Thobejane, Ms Benidita Vilanculo, Mr Fayaaz Patel (Chief Operational Officer: Hydra Arc Group), Ms Noxolo Masango, Ms Valencia Mathe and Ms Thandi Thathi. At the back are Messrs Patrick Mayaba, Thembinkosi Ngwenya, Vusi Matshika, Bethuel Mabiletsa (Chief Executive Officer at Mshimiwami and Jomele), Themba Mathebula and Frans Rabothata (group leader).

SECUNDA – Mshiniwami Artisan Training Academy celebrated the graduation of some of the students who are now qualified to enter the safety officer and quality control industry on Wednesday, 6 June.

According to Mr Betuel Mabiletsa, the chief executive officer of Mshiniwami and Jomele Training and Placements, 39 students have completed their international welding inspecting (IWIP) course for quality inspectors Level 1 and 21 have completed their safety officer course, including Samtrac for general industry courses.

“I am immensely proud to announce that of these 21 safety officers, 16 have been offered and have taken up employment within the Hydra Arc Group,” said Mr Mabiletsa.

“This is testament to the fact that the Hydra Arc Group will stand strong in the up-skilling, empowerment and ultimate employment of the youth, thereby fulfilling the promise of a better life where the hope for some had been fading.”

The academy faced dark days due to riots and violence erupting numerous times in 2016 and then again in March last year when some politicians, students and the Ithemba Iabasha Youth Forum accused the institution of a multitude of sins, including being a fly-by-night facility, of exploiting the youth and allegedly not presenting accredited courses.

Also read: Mshiniwami Training Academy honours the first group of students to graduate

Mr Mabiletsa said on Wednesday that at that time the doom-mongers and nay-sayers insisted that the dream of a better future had become Mshiniwami’s worst nightmare.

“We look back today and admire the persistence, endurance and passion of our staff and students, for they have achieved and realised an impossible dream against tremendous odds.”

The Mshiniwami Artisan Training Academy was established in 2015 as a public-private partnership between the Hydra Arc Group and the Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust (MRTT), the Mpumalanga Department of Education’s Section 21 company.

Hydra Arc won a five-year tender to train 5 000 artisans by 2019.

The department spends R130 million a year on tuition fees, accommodation, stipends, meals, and equipment, while Hydra Arc invested R60 million for the building and equipment. The main purpose of the project is to address skills shortages and place 1 000 artisans in the job market each year.

Mr Mabiletsa said 1 191 students have qualified for NQF Level 2 in welding and pipe fabrication through Chieta.

“In addition, we have employed 73 such graduates to date.”

Mr Mabiletsa, backed by Mr Simphiwe Sungube from MRTT, called on all companies operating and benefitting from the South African marketplace, to employ those graduates who are still seeking employment.

“We have given them the best training, now the companies in this industry must make use of them.”

Some of the graduates and management are interacting during the graduation ceremony.

  AUTHOR
Arisja Misselhorn

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