Nov 2021 1st edition

Artisans can become entrepreneurs

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Youth are making a living as artisans after being trained through a National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Services Sector Education and Training Authority skills development programme. Thapelo Nsimbini ready to use her artisan skills in business.

Thapelo Nsimbini (26) from kaMhlushwa in Mpumalanga has qualified as a fitter through the Technical Skills Programme.

She trained in fitting and turning at the Technotrain Industrial Training Academy in Kempton Park, Gauteng.

Fitters and turners are highly skilled craftsmen who manufacture, construct, assemble and fit components for machinery.

The training, which included two-and-a-half-years of theory and a six-month practical, enabled Nsimbini to develop skills she now uses to earn a living.

The training taught Nsimbini how to maintain and rebuild heavy-duty machines, used for making and maintaining bolts, shafts and other heavy-duty equipment.

“I learnt how to measure the inside of shafts, which helps to align the wheel of a car. I can also change the bearings of an industrial water and oil pump,” Nsimbini says.

She is now opening her own bearing manufacturing and refurbishing business. “Training as an artisan not only opens jobs, but can also enable one to be an entrepreneur,” she says.

To become an artisan you can enrol at a technical vocational education and training college or any registered private higher education institution that offers these courses.

To study towards a National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 1 in boiler making, fitting or turning, you must have passed Grade 9 with mathematics and physical science. The entry requirement for an N3 qualification is a Grade 11 pass, with mathematics and physical science.

During the course, students learn mathematics, engineering science, engineering drawing, fitting and machining and mechanotechnology from N1 to N3.

To take part in the programme, contact the NYDA at 087 158 6345 / 5738 or visit

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