Skills development is one of four key focus areas of the NFTN

Skills development is one of four key focus areas of the NFTN. The aim is to facilitate the establishment and delivery of effective, relevant sector skills development interventions. The efficiency, relevance and impact of the NFTN’s efforts, however, is largely dependent on how well we listen to the needs, challenges and requirements of the Foundry Sector. It is, therefore, a high priority to engage with industry and develop a deep understanding of the skills needs, skills shortages and skills priorities of the sector.

In keeping with the intent to determine and respond to confirmed needs and requirements of the Foundry stakeholders, the NFTN is represented on the Skills Development Working Group of the Steel Masterplan Committee and will ensure that the foundry sector priorities are duly considered.

Another objective is to establish an advisory council from amongst legitimate foundry stakeholders to inform and guide decisions on skills development priorities, interventions and resource allocations that the NFTN will support. The guiding principle here is that industry cannot be told what they need, but rather that the needs they have identified and communicated, should be responded to with appropriate support and allocation of available resources.

While the activities described above are under way, the NFTN will continue to support the GFTC like it has in the past. There will also be a determined effort to expand the support that was provided to Ekhureleni-East College, to other colleges across the country. We certainly believe that the capacity for training foundry staff should be expanded.

The NFTNs recent affiliation to the National Cleaner Production Centre of SA (NCPC-SA) opens a whole range of services that the foundry sector can benefit from. The NCPC-SA offers a range of services that would result in substantial savings in energy and other resource consumption, resulting in significant financial savings, improved energy efficiency and many other benefits. From a skills development perspective, qualifying businesses in the foundry sector may be eligible for free training in energy management, energy system optimisation and resource efficient cleaner production.

The NCPC-SA is also collaborating with its colleagues in the CSIR around the development of a Learning Factory, focused on integration of 4IR Technologies in the production processes of industry. This initiative also promises to be of benefit to the foundry sector over time.

For further details contact Wynand van der Merwe, Skills Development Manager at the CSIR Smart Places Industry Support Programmes on or 071 603 2805.