Johannesburg, 2 April 2018 – South Africa has identified re-industrialisation as one of the key initiatives with the potential to unlock the country’s economic growth potential. When it takes off, South Africa’s re-industrialisation will demand technical skills, such as those offered by artisans, among others, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.
South Africa, however, does not produce a sufficient number of artisan skills on an annual basis, compared to the skills produced by universities, universities of technology and private colleges. Chief among the reasons for this is that South Africans, generally, associate “good jobs” with university qualifications, with skills produced by Technical and Vacational Education and Training (TVET) colleges often regarded as inferior.
“Generally, as South Africans, we tend to place too great an emphasis on sending children to universities to improve their chances of getting employed, notwithstanding the fact that every year thousands of university graduates struggle to find employment. We need to start taking TVET colleges more seriously. Artisan skills produced by TVET colleges are often in demand but, as a country, we aren’t producing enough of them. Therefore, we need to start seeing TVET colleges as significant contributors of skills required by the economy,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He said that it was for this reason, among others, that SEIFSA introduced the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence in 2015to celebrate companies that have embarked on the continuous journey of developing a pool of artisans that South Africa can count on.
Mr Nyatsumba said that SEIFSA will present the Decade of the Artisan Award to a company that trained the highest number of artisans in 2017.
Other awards that form the seven categories of the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence are:
- The Environment Stewardship Award of the Year will be awarded to an organization that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations in 2017.
- The Most Innovative Company of the Year, which will be awarded to a company that showed the best level of innovation in research and development or production in 2017.
- The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that showed the highest transformation level in the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team in 2017. This award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 companies against others of similar size.
- The Best CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s in 2017 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries.
- The Customer Service Award will be presented to a company rated the highest in customer service performance in 2017.
- The Health and Safety Award of the Year will be awarded to a company with the best legal compliance record in Health and Safety or the lowest Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate in 2017.
Mr Nyatsumba encouraged manufacturers operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the seven categories before the deadline on Friday, 20 April March 2018. SEIFSA awards entrants will be assessed on their performance in the period 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. Participants can enter by visiting the SEIFSA Awards website (www.seifsaawards.co.za).
The Awards are open to all companies in the metals and engineering sector, and not only those that are members of Associations affiliated to SEIFSA.
Awards winners will be honoured at a ceremony that will take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 24 May 2018.
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