SA skills initiative shortlisted for global award

Saffers could soon have global bragging rights thanks to NSF/SAIMI funding

A South African marine industry skills training programme has been shortlisted for one of the world’s top boat building awards, the IBI-METSTRADE Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement 2018 in the Training category.

The dti skills pilot programme, initiated three years ago by the Marine Industry Association of South Africa (MIASA) and the dti, is only one of 33 companies and organizations worldwide named as potential winners of this year’s awards. The winners will be announced in Amsterdam in mid-November.

The Skills Fund programme aims to train almost 400 people in boat building and composite skills in a collaborative effort involving False Bay College, the Composites Training Academy, and various private sector companies. It was nominated for the global Best Training Scheme award by Vanessa Davidson, executive manager of the South African Boat Builders Export Council.

In her motivation to IBI-METSTRADE Davidson said it was the first time such a large sum – R15-million – had been made available for the South African boat building sector.  Said Davidson: “It will ensure a throughput of qualified boat builders into the industry for the next three years plus. Laminators and composite workers who have traditionally trained on the job will be given an opportunity to gain a recognised national certificate, and currently unemployed people will be given the necessary theoretical and practical skills to find work. In a country where unemployment is high this training intervention will bolster employment and ensure South Africa remains skilled and globally competitive.”

She said the programme would also build credibility and trust between maritime stakeholders “to ensure a firm foundation for future skills interventions in the boat building sector.”

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