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International Skills Partnerships: War on leaks
In 2016 June 30, the minister in the presidency launched the Collins Chabane Youth Build School. Umgungundlovu TVET College was initially the training provider, National Youth Development Agency, as the funder and Msunduzi Municipality as the employer. NYDA launched the skills Welding project at Dambuza Township, the township caters for the people with low income group. This community has many challenges like unemployment among youth, poverty and poor service delivery especially water. But the long term solution to the problem is to upgrade the water infrastructure hence the project.
There was a major social and local rationale for this project. Umgungundlovu District’s population is 1,017,763, with 352,970 young people making up the college’s target market. This group also has high levels of unemployment and low skills, creating a high-risk group and associated social problems. Meanwhile, the recent drought experienced by KwaZulu Natal had led to various government assistance projects. This includes the “War on Leaks” Project, which requires trained welders to fix and repair/replace water pipes throughout the country; therefore, Umgungundlovu TVET aims to develop boiler making and welding skills among young people, allowing them to support local industry. Meanwhile, students who do not want to continue into boiler making can open their own small businesses servicing the home/domestic market.
The project was therefore aimed to capacitate Umgungundlovu TVET to run Welding Projects in partnership with industry, possibly introducing a Trade Test Centre for the greater Midlands area. This also links to South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) for artisan development. With the support of Dudley and Elangeni, Umgungundlovu will be able to deliver higher level welding programmes, up skilling the labour force, reducing reliance on imported welders and assisting the country in creating a pool of skilled
welders. Dudley and Elangeni will form a partnership with Umgungundlovu TVET to share their successes and capacity build Umgungundlovu in the delivery of Welding programmes, sharing best practices, staff development and training methodologies that were learnt during the Foundation project. The project focused on up skilling young people in the Umgungundlovu district. This will help reduce unemployment by supplying industry with a skilled labour force; where appropriate, some participating young people were encouraged to looking into opportunities around self-employment. In addition, Umgungundlovu will move from teaching basic skills to higher level skills, particularly those required for boiler making.