Middelburg — Matriculants who want to study tool manufacturing have been invited to enrol at the Nkangala FET College in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
An open day for a career in manufacturing and tool making will also be held at the college's skills campus on 23 January from 9am.
"The training of sufficiently skilled people for the tooling industry is of critical importance as manufacturing is one of the cornerstones of the South African economy.
"Manufacturing and tool making provide consumers with virtually all products that they use in everyday life and creates economic growth, employment and wealth," said Dirk van Dyk, chief executive of the National Tooling Initiative Programme.
Van Dyk said in order to produce high quality products at affordable prices, manufacturers rely on advanced technology and highly trained people.
He said South Africa is currently experiencing a critical shortage of technically skilled people in the tool manufacturing industry.
To address the problem, government has introduced the TDM Powered skills development programme.
Van Dyk said the TDM Powered skills programme is an initiative of the Intsimbi National Tooling Initiative and a partnership between the Tool making Association of South Africa and the Department of Trade and Industry.
It runs from three to four years, and provides students with the basic, core and eventually specialist skills in the tool, die and mould making disciplines to enable them to qualify as toolmaker artisans.
"Once qualified, students can pursue careers in cross cutting sectors such as the aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, leisure, marine, medical, mining and packaging industries," Van Dyk said.
Besides theory, the course includes practical workshops and on-the-job training. Students are paid a stipend while doing on-the-job training.
Application forms are available via the website www.tdmpowered.co.za or e-mail email@example.com.