Coast education boost

2011-02-28 00:00

THE training of artisans on the South Coast received a major boost on Friday as the Ifta-Cimpor training centre at the Simuma Plant just outside Oribi was officially opened.

The centre — a joint venture between NPC Cimpor and the Ikhaya Fundisa Techniskills Academy (Ifta) — will accommodate around 100 students at a time in the electrical, mechanical, welding and automotive fields.

Courses will be offered in varying trades that are specific to these fields. The project has been ongoing for over two years, during which time a steel shack became a modern training centre. The construction of the centre cost around R1,5 million while R5 million worth of equipment was brought in. The driving force behind the centre and the training and development manager at NPC, Seema Sukhoo, said that she is extremely happy and optimistic about the completion of the training venue.

“To see what has been accomplished here from scratch really is fantastic,” she said. “We see this growing even further and we are very excited about the future.”

Sukhoo said that one of the main benefits of the centre was that potential students from the South Coast will now be able to study from home. “At NPC we have had to send our employees to Johannesburg for training and now anybody can learn their trade right here in their home town,” she said. “We are also currently working on a deal to purchase accommodation for students nearby.”

Course facilitators have been recruited from all around the country, with Chris Wessels relocating from Johannesburg to manage the centre. “We are extremely confident in the ability of our facilitators,” said Sukhoo. “They will offer teaching that is not based on time, but quality.”

The opening was also attended by advocate Sandile Nogxina, director-general of the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs. Nogxina stressed the impact that the centre would have on the mining community.

“This project will stress the importance of mining to nearby communities as they will see how obtaining skills to be involved in the industry can be achieved here,” he said.

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