Decade of the artisan launced at Ekurhuleni college

Learners from various school were brought to the Ekurhuleni East College on Monday.

Schools from Kwatsaduza and neighboring towns like Nigel and Benoni descended at the Ekurhuleni East College in KwaThema on Monday.

The artisan programme was established in 2013 and the department of higher education plans to train 30 thousand artisans annually by the year 2030.

Dr. Florus Prinsloo is the technical adviser for National Artisan Development, he says every economy’s basic building block is dependent on the artisan industry.

According to Florus,”houses, cars and roads, all need people to use their hands, if citizens don’t have skills in manufacturing, repairing and producing then the country is in trouble.”

Florus says the apartheid system “prevented a lot of black people from working professionally in the artisan industry” and the township environment has also “labelled artisan professions such as welding, brick laying and boiler making as dirty jobs, something which the department hopes to change.”

Florus says as a department they are also trying to change the mindset that everyone must go to university, “there is a huge gap in the artisan industry because most of the people who worked as artisans have retired while others have left the country.”

The department plans to increase their number of artisans by 1 000 a year until they reach their target of 2030 and they are currently at 13 000.

Mduduzi Manana is the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, he said although artisans are needed because the employment prospects are good, they will be encouraging those studying to open their own businesses so they can also become employers.

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