TDM Powered Skills Development Programme Celebrates Milestone

History was made recently when the National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTIP), celebrated the milestone of handing over the first Occupational Certificates: Toolmaker (NQF level 5) South African Qualifications Authority qualifications at an event held at Necsa, Pretoria.

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During the past decade, it became clear that the knowledge economy and 4th Industrial Revolution require a different, more flexibly-skilled worker who can contribute to greater profitability and productivity. It was evident that the skills development programmes should align with the needs of industry to ensure successful employment of workers.

The TDM (Tool, Die and Mouldmaking) Powered Skills Development Programme was initiated as a solution to counter the skills erosion and job losses hampering the TDM sector by addressing the challenges identified. This Programme forms part of a multistakeholder initiative that was established in 2009 under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Toolmaking Association of South Africa (TASA) to implement a turnaround strategy for South Africa’s distressed tooling industry.

To this end it was decided to introduce a comprehensive articulated skills delivery system in South Africa to provide the basic and advanced skills required by the TDM sector. The intervention is based on the following guiding principles: Dedicated career guidance, assessment and selection processes, specialized student support services, strengthening of students’ entry into the Programme, the new qualification structures, new qualification design principles, capacity building through partnerships, deployment of newly skilled resources and sustainability.

Dirk van Dyk, CEO of NTIP said that the training of sufficient skilled people for the tooling industry is of critical importance as manufacturing is one of the cornerstones of a South African economy, facing serious growth challenges. “South Africa has to build its tooling manufacturing capacity to become globally more competitive if the country wants to create more jobs. The TDM Powered Programme plays a pivotal role in providing sufficient skilled people to the aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, leisure, marine, medical, mining and packaging industries,” Van Dyk added.

“The programme is a strategic growth stimulator for manufacturing and technical skills development and is a complement to the South African government’s commitment to eradicate poverty and unemployment,” explained Van Dyk. He added that the accomplishment of these candidates receiving their Occupational Certificates: Toolmaker, will contribute towards adding better workmanship, techniques and high standards of knowledge into the somewhat stale and old-fashioned manufacturing industry.

Van Dyk said that handing out these first Occupational Certificates: Toolmaker is a milestone for the TDM Powered Programme, as manufacturing industry has been waiting for qualified Toolmakers with international standards. This group of new-generation Artisans will bring advanced Toolmaking skills to the manufacturing industry. “Our candidates are innovative and can operate independently. During the TDM Programme, they were encouraged to be aware of and adapt to global manufacturing trends. This group of candidates is playing an important part in our company’s mission to alleviate skills shortage in South Africa,” Van Dyk concluded

From left: Aletta Zikalala (Employment Coordinator NTIP), Allen Sithebe (Toolroom Foreman at WaterTech and one of the speakers at the event), Christie Lennon, Travers Gallent, Keiven Kwinda, Ruan Steenekamp, Marie Oosthuysen (TCOE Coordinator NTIP), Juanay Johnson, Andy Berger (Lecturer), Jan Sephalane Mokwena, Moses Cindi, Matthys Uys (Lecturer) Wele Gcwabe, Sizwe Manana and Sandile Lthuli.

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