Unemployed members of a mining community in Steelpoort, Limpopo, have taken the first step towards becoming qualified artisans. This is after they completed Tjeka Training Matters’ basic instruction in brick paving that was provided in association with Train-the-Nation. It is just one of a number of construction-related short courses that this leading private Technical and Vocational Education and Training college provides as part of its portable skills training offering to the mining industry. These short courses are having a profound positive impact on mining communities by equipping individuals with essential skills that will help them gain employment or start their own businesses.
The theoretical and practical instruction in brick paving was provided by Kevin Vena and Benjamine Mlambo, skilled and experienced Tjeka Training Matters’ artisans and training facilitators. “Our client takes its commitment to human resource development – as outlined in its social-labour plans – very seriously. It does not train to simply ‘tick boxes’. To ensure that its human resource development programmes have a large positive impact, the mine only partners reputable training providers with a strong track record working with mining communities,” Vena says.
Moreover, Tjeka Training Matters only focuses on construction training and is acknowledged as a specialist in the field. All of the company’s training facilitators are professional artisans who have a wealth of industry knowledge that they are able to impart that goes beyond just the technical and practical components of the courses. This also ensures that Tjeka Training Matters’ instruction is always relevant and in line with the demands of the construction sector. Learners also have a holistic view of the industry when they join the world of work.
As an example of the quality of the training provided by Tjeka Training Matters, learners only work with the best tools, equipment and materials in the market. A case in point is the use of STABILA spirit levels for brick paving training considering their reliability and accuracy. Learners, therefore, had the opportunity to develop a sound basis upon which they are able to significantly expand their knowledge of level transfer at a later stage when they enrol for Tjeka Training Matters’ Learnerships and Skills Paths. As part of the training programmes and on certification day, learners are given a start-up toolbox kit which are equipped with, among other tools, a STABILA spirt level.
Tjeka Training Matters believes that by exposing learners to tool brands that are widely used in the construction industry right from the outset, they are better able to hit the ground running when they start working as tradespeople.
This approach also teaches learners the importance of selecting the correct tools for the job to ensure quality workmanship and reduce waste on site. Representatives from Upat SA also spend time with learners to teach them how to correctly use and take proper care of the company’s products so that they continue adding value over their entire lifecycle. During these sessions, learners also usually gain first-hand insights into new product innovations ahead of their launch in the country and trends that have a bearing on their chosen profession. Learners are, therefore, at the cutting-edge of industry practice after they have completed their training.
Tjeka Training Matters continues to nurture a long and close professional relationship with Upat SA, which also supplies fischer Fixing Systems and Milwaukee power tools for use in the company’s Learnerships, Skills Paths and short courses.
However, it is the depth of practical instruction that learners receive from Tjeka Training Matters that really sets it apart from its closest competitors. As part of their practical training, the learners paved various walkways and areas around select structures under Vena’s and Mlambo’s watch. This, combined with the theoretical component of the training, contributes to a recognised qualification in brick paving.
“It was an absolute pleasure training a group of very enthusiastic learners who want to become professional artisans. This is very encouraging considering the shortage of skilled tradespeople in the country. I believe that these learners have a lot to contribute to the construction industry – if given the chance to do so,” Mlambo concludes.