The SEIFSA bursaries were offered to first-year students studying towards electrical, civil, industrial, mechanical, chemical and metallurgical engineering in Universities and Universities of Technology across South Africa.

In addition to the 10 first-year bursaries, SEIFSA has also continued to fund seven existing SEIFSA bursary recipients in second and third years of study.

SEIFSA Human Capital and Skills Development Executive Mustak Ally said that it was critically important that companies operating in the metals and engineering sector contributed towards building a pipeline of skills required not only by the sector, but also by South Africa in general.

“As an employer Federation, we believe that it is critically important that we also play a role in the development of engineering skills that are desperately needed in our sector and in our country,” Mr Ally said.

Every year SEIFSA awards tertiary education bursaries to individuals pursuing studies in the engineering sciences in the steel and engineering environment. These bursaries are either new bursary awards or for continuation of the studies for individuals already on a SEIFSA bursary from their first year.

Mr Ally said that in order to be eligible for receiving a SEIFSA bursary, applicants must be South African citizens under the age of 35, be in possession of a Grade 12 certificate with applicable Mathematics and Science results and have proof that the course cannot be attended without financial assistance. 

The SEIFSA bursaries cover all or form part of the cost of tuition fees and give preference to students from previously-disadvantaged groups. 

“The field of study also has to be relevant to the metals and engineering sector and fill the gap in terms of scarce and critical skills,” Mr Ally said. 

In addition to funding students’ university tuition fees, SEIFSA also places the students with SEIFSA member companies upon completion of their studies. 

“The manufacturing sector in South Africa has been faced with numerous challenges, including considerable competitive pressure for the industry to become more productive and compete successfully in export markets, technical skills shortage, as well as high levels of unemployment. It is against this backdrop that SEIFSA feels a need to contribute towards the eradication of technical skills shortage by contributing towards the alleviation of unemployment,” Mr Ally concluded.