Ndlambe artisans get chance to upgrade skills, change lives

Group of young people off to Gauteng for month-long training in various fields

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: The standing group of young people going to attend a month-long artisan training course in Ekurhuleni joined by Ndlambe Municipality council members in front.

Ndlambe Municipality held a sendoff recently for a group of young people headed to Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, to be trained as artisans.  The 21 trainees from various wards in Ndlambe gathered at the Council Chambers on Friday, July 8. Two days later, they departed for a month of artisan-level practice in bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fitting, aircon and refrigeration, glazing, screed flooring, boilermaking, tiling, painting and decorating. The municipality has paid for transport and accommodation for the month-long learnership and also provided a once-off R1800 stipend to the participants.

The call was made last June for Ndlambe residents between the ages of 18 and 45, who  chose from among the training areas on offer. The programme caters for school leavers who want to specialise in these skills, but also for those already working in these trades who may not have certification, but would like to improve their skills.

Director of Corporate Services, Lazola Maneli, said the programme stemmed from training given to Ndlambe staff in Ekurhuleni during the last financial year. The municipality decided to give this opportunity to the community as well. They have partnered with Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre.

“Some of the learners do have experience in what they applied for and some learners don’t,” Maneli said.

The programme allows tradespeople to get certification.

“This programme is to also give those who don’t have any skills the opportunity to get trained,” she said. Maneli said 20 external applicants were chosen. The group includes one staff member who missed the training last term and will be getting carpentry training.

At the sendoff, EFF and ANC caucus leaders offered messages of support to the trainees. Councillor Mzwandile Mgweba encouraged them to make good use of the opportunity that the municipality had provided.

“Ndlambe has given you a chance, a new lease on life, because it is very difficult these days to get an opportunity to go out there and expand your skills,” Mgweba said. “Ensure that this training empowers you and become pioneers of this programme. In order to get success in life, you must persevere.”

He encouraged the participants to commit to the training, and to stay goal-oriented to make a success of this opportunity.

ANC Councillor Simphiwe Kolosa said Ndlambe Municipality had stepped in to assist.

“Surely, you have tried and looked elsewhere, seeking for opportunities to better your lives. Now Ndlambe Municipality is coming to your doorstep, saying when one door closes, another opens.

“Often we look so long at the closed doors in such a way we don’t see the one which has been opened,” he said.

Maneli encouraged the participants to come back and open businesses after completing their training and pleaded with them to be responsible and disciplined during their training. He also urged them to not spend their stipend on alcohol.

“When you receive your stipend, do not splurge it on alcohol,” he said. “We don’t want to find ourselves having to call and reprimand you over the phone because you lack self-control in the city. You must be responsible enough to know why you’re sent there and show maximum discipline during your course,” he added.

Giving the keynote address, Ndlambe Municipality mayor, Khululwa Ncamiso, advised the trainees to be cautious as they travel to a big city and also pleaded for them to remain disciplined. “Out of this, do something that you’ll be proud of,” she said.