Government has invested R500 million into the establishment of the National Artisan Development Academy. The academy aims to address unemployment in the country.
Housed within Motheo Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Bloemfontein, Free State, the academy aims to make a contribution towards meeting the country’s target of producing 30 000 artisans a year by 2030.
The academy also seeks to solve the challenge of youth unemployment by providing scarce artisan skills.
Motheo TVET College Principal, Professor Dipiloane Phutsisi, said the academy is aimed at assisting the country in providing scarce and critical skills that were identified by research that was conducted by the University of the Free State.
“The National Artisan Development Academy will assist in supplying South Africa with goldsmiths. We also want to produce artisans in the haircare industry. Haircare and beauty will form part of the occupational programmes to be offered at the centre.
“We also took seven trades in the building industry from bricklaying, plastering, tiling, flooring … to be part of the occupations there. We are also going to offer [training in] renewable energy,” Phutsisi said.
She said Motheo TVET College is among seven colleges in the country that the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with the German Government identified to offer courses in renewable energy which include a programme in building and installing of solar panels.
Other programmes that will be offered at the academy include real estate, electrician and boilermaker training, as well as carpentry, jewellery manufacturing and funeral services.
“We are going to train people to provide professional funeral services. The college currently offers upholstery and furniture making. We are going to utilise those skills to build coffins. Communities will be able to buy the coffins at a very reasonable price,” Phutsisi said.
The academy, which is at about 90 percent completion, is expected to be operational in June. The Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) recently undertook a site visit at the academy.
Services SETA CEO Amanda Buzo-Gqoboka said the Motheo TVET College is the custodian of the concept of the academy and the Services SETA are the funders of the academy.
“This project has created a total of 2 005 contractors' jobs from the area,” she said.