MIWA is a long-time supporter of technical training. We’re always excited to embrace an opportunity to expose more young people to our sector and to instill a passion that may lead to a fulfilling career. That’s why we are eager for any chance to invest in grassroots talent, and the Technical Skills Specialisation Competition (Welding and Metalwork), hosted in September by Wimpie Ludewyk – Manager: vocational schools for technical and agricultural schools Free State Province – was the perfect platform for this.
The competition was first introduced in 2018, as part of an initiative by the Free State to develop the skills of learners at technical, vocational and agricultural schools. This strategy is in line with the NDP’s national goal of producing 30 000 artisans by 2030. The competition is held at school, district and provincial levels, giving learners a chance to hone their practical skills. All of this leads up to the 2023 World Skills Competition when our students will be able to show off the skills they have learned in their various areas of specialisation.
MIWA has been involved with the initiative since 2019, when the automotive component was first included. Reemo Swartz (MIWA Regional Representative for Free State and Northern Cape) joined Sizwe Sishuba and Viwe Malgas to judge the automotive section, which had 82 learners taking part in various district competitions. These participants – most of whom are in grades 10 and 11 – were assessed on their ability to remove spark plugs, reset gaps according to the manufacturers’ specifications, label various parts and refit accordingly. They also had to bleed the braking system to get rid of all air.
The winners were awarded industry-specific tools and have the chance to go on to compete in the finals taking place in Bloemfontein in October, where Reemo will, once again, be judging. A huge congratulations to all who participated, helping to further our goal of providing training and skills development, as well as to main sponsor Sasol, which donated R300 000 in support of the event.