A group of 12 individuals recently completed 15 days of plumbing training at Tjeka Training Matters’ training and trade testing facility in Randfontein, Gauteng. As part of their learning journey, the individuals also received instruction from representatives of Lixil Africa, which owns leading Cobra, Grohe, Vaal Sanitaryware and Apex Valves brands.
Frans Toua, Chief-Executive Officer of Tjeka Training Matters, says that Tjeka Training Matters invited Lixil Africa to assist in providing high quality plumbing training because of the company’s excellent reputation in the industry.
“We continue to partner leaders in the supply chain to enhance the learning experience. In this way, we are assured that our learners know how to work with the best products in the market that are frequently requested by clients for their projects. They also have the opportunity to acquire important knowledge on the latest innovation and trends in the market considering that the construction industry is constantly evolving. This gives our learners an edge when competing in the job market,” Frans Toua, Chief-Executive Officer of Tjeka Training Matters, says.
The training was provided by Train-the Nation, with which Tjeka is in association, on behalf of a leading gold mining company. All 12 unemployed individuals, including three women, are from Hillshaven. They were selected by the mine to undergo skills training as part of its commitment to uplifting poor communities that are located within its operational footprint.
Rashaad White, who facilitated the training on behalf of Tjeka Training Matters, says that this was an important first step taken by the learners towards becoming qualified plumbers. “The training that they have received from us has significantly improved their employability. They now have the skills needed to install most plumbing systems in a house under the supervision of a qualified plumber. These are skills that are very high in demand. However, it is also the responsibility of qualified plumbers to ensure that they employ competent people with certificates,” says White, who has 26 years of experience working as a qualified plumber.
Lixil Africa’s products were also used extensively throughout the training. Learners worked with the company’s fittings, basins, bore and pressure-reducing valves, as well as vacuum breakers. Notably, they are durable products that are, therefore, also ideally suited to training purposes.
Japie Bacon of Lixil Africa’s technical support division lauds the quality of plumbing training provided by Tjeka Training Matters. “It is imperative that the industry maintains the highest possible quality standards at a time when the market has been flooded by unqualified plumbers. Training is one of the very important controls that we have in place to safeguard the industry against substandard workmanship. Tjeka Training Matters’ training is in line with the quality technical support that we provide to our customers to ensure high quality plumbing workmanship,” Bacon says.
Wikus van Rooyen of Lixil Africa provided instruction on various of the company’s state-of-the-art products. This includes the Cobra range of electronic taps that have become increasingly popular during the Covid-19 pandemic because they prevent contact with potentially contaminated fittings. He also introduced the learners to the company’s concealed cisterns which are very fashionable in residences and large property developments. Moreover, the learners were among the first in the country to hear about a new Lixil Africa product that will be launched early in 2022. “These are products that are in very high demand so learners will definitely need to know how to work with them. Meanwhile, through our involvement with Tjeka Training Matters, we have been afforded a great opportunity to introduce our technologies to up-and-coming plumbers as an excellent marketing initiative,” Van Rooyen says.
Walatwa Mothipi and Zweli Ndlovu were among the learners who completed the plumbing training. They attest to the high quality of instruction that they received from Tjeka Training Matters and Lixil Africa.
“We received hands-on training and proper mentorship from skilled and experienced professionals. This helped me pass the test that we wrote at the end of the training programme. I am looking forward to receiving my certificate so that I can start applying for a position with a plumbing company. I will then be able to raise the funds I need to continue training to become a professional in the field,” Mothipi says.
Ndlovu says, “I am a qualified plasterer and wanted to expand my skillset to improve my employability. There is a very high demand for people with the skills that I gained over the past two weeks. It was an intensive course that covered most of the facets of plumbing and for which I will receive a recognised certificate from a company that has a solid reputation for the quality of its construction training. I am, therefore, very hopeful that I will be able to find a job.”