Tjeka’s learners are as good as the tools they use

Individuals undergoing apprenticeship instruction at Tjeka Training Matters’ state-of-the-art training and trade testing facility in Randfontein receive hands-on mentorship from experienced built-environment professionals and learn with top-of-the-range equipment, tools and materials.

To improve the learning experience, leading participants in the construction supply chain are also regularly invited to teach learners how to use their products correctly and safely. “Quality workmanship does not only rely on skills and experience. It is also very dependent on having the correct tools for the job. Skilled workers who have access to the right tools are faster, as well as more efficient and accurate. By involving participants in the supply chain in our training programmes, learners receive first-hand knowledge of how to work with specific equipment, tools and materials to better prepare them for the world of work,” Frans Toua, Chief Executive Officer of Tjeka Training Matters, says.

Upat SA is among the many companies that continue to proactively participate in Tjeka Training Matters’ training programmes as one of the private technical vocational education and training college’s long-standing partners. The company’s products are incorporated in all of Tjeka Training Matters’ Construction Education and Training Authority-accredited and South African Qualifications Authority-registered Learnerships, Skills Programmes and short courses.

For example, learners undergoing plumbing training will only work with STABILA measuring tapes and plumbing spirit levels. This is because they are very accurate and, therefore, ideal for precision work. The company’s plumbing spirit levels, for example, are marked along their aluminium profile to transfer installation points quickly and their rare earth magnets provide extra strong holding-power on all steel plumbing components for hands-free work.

As part of their training, learners are also introduced to Milwaukee power tools. They include the company’s state-of-the-art battery-operated bandsaws, impact wrenches, drilling machines, reciprocating saws and grinders – all essential tools in any qualified plumber’s toolbox.

Clayton Dry, a Technical Specialist – Mining and Utilities of Upat SA, recently participated in plumbing training that was undertaken by Train-the-Nation on behalf of a leading gold mining company. Tjeka Training Matters, as an associate of Train-the-Nation, made available its state-of-the-art training facility, experienced facilitators and quality tools, materials and fittings for this training programme. It also has extensive experience providing plumbing training as a member of the Institute of Plumbing South Africa.

“During these training sessions at Tjeka Training Matters academy, we teach learners how to treat their tools like professionals so that they are always able to get the best out of them. The knowledge that we impart includes how to use our products safely, selecting the correct tools for specific applications and keeping them in good condition. It is invaluable training considering that our products are used extensively by qualified plumbers,” Dry says.

The 12 individuals who were trained by Train-the-Nation and Tjeka Training Matters are all currently unemployed and reside within a poor community. This training is the first step taken by these employees towards becoming qualified plumbers and forms part of the mine’s commitment to uplifting the skills of members of poor communities located within its footprint.

Rashaad White, who facilitated the training on behalf of Train-the-Nation and Tjeka Training Matters, says the training was a resounding success. “We had a very enthusiastic group of learners. They have been equipped with the very basic skills that they need to secure employment. Therefore, they still have a long way to go before they become qualified plumbers. It will take the same dedication that they have displayed thus far and perhaps even more grit – which I’m sure they do have – to complete their learning journey. I wish them the best of luck,” White concludes.