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JOHANNESBURG, 16 MARCH 2021 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is calling on companies which have made a difference in the training of artisans, thus contributing in efforts to address South Africa’s acute artisan shortage, to enter the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence in the Artisan Award category.

The Awards, which are now in their seventh year, are aimed at celebrating excellence and innovation within the Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector. The Artisan Award is presented to a company that has the highest activity in artisan training each year for itself and/or the industry. To qualify, companies’ interventions must have taken place between 1 July 2019 and December 2020.

Explaining the importance of recognising companies that train artisans, SEIFSA CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said that in a country with high levels of youth unemployment, artisan development has long been seen as a vehicle to address this challenge. In addition, efforts to rebuild the economy will need a skilled workforce that includes artisans and engineers, fields that are currently in short supply. Companies that are stepping up to help address this shortage deserve to be celebrated, he said.

“We all hope that South Africa is entering an exciting phase of rebuilding the economy, with the Government boosting efforts to reboot the country through its infrastructure plans in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Engineers and artisans will be the ones at the coalface of these efforts; we need to ensure there are enough of them to ensure successful economic recovery,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Last year’s winner in this category, Kgabo Cars Training and Services, trained 67 apprentices at different levels in 2019 alone.

“We are confident that there are other companies in the M&E sector that are doing an equally excellent job. We call on them to enter the Awards and serve as examples for other companies to emulate,” Mr Nyatsumba concluded.

The closing date for entries is 4 May 2021. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 20 May at a Johannesburg venue still to be confirmed.

The other categories in the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence are:

  • The Most Innovative Company Award;
  • The Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programme of the Year;
  • The Health and Safety Award;
  • The Customer Service Award;
  • The Environmental Stewardship Award; and
  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award.

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