22 April 2013 – A facility run by Actom group, its technical training centre at Knights, Germiston, South Africa, reports strong demand for the courses it offers to companies outside the group that don’t have complete hands-on training facilities.

The technical training centre, which over many decades confined itself to providing practical training for apprentice electricians, fitters & turners, armature winders, boilermakers and others employed by companies within the Actom group, introduced outside training in 2009 to help offset the negative impact of the economic recession on its earning power.

“The results have been very encouraging, especially since the beginning of 2012,” training manager Dawie Oberholzer, says. “Demand for outside training wasn’t strong at first, but when it became more widely known, more and more companies have come knocking at our door to find out what we can offer. Consequently demand for us to provide practical training of apprentices has increased steadily.”

In 2012 three well-known companies based in Gauteng that supply a range of electrical equipment and services to the local market made use of outside training courses offered by the technical training centre. One of these enrolled 11 electrician apprentices for six months fulltime training for the hands-on training segment of the Accelerated Artisan Training Programme (AATP), for which the training centre is accredited.

The training centre also provided training for six electrician apprentices from one of the other companies and five from the other for the first phase of the four-phase practical training required for a full artisan training programme. Both groups were provided with fulltime training for five months last year.

“We’ve recently enrolled the five apprentices from one of these companies to continue their fulltime practical training to cover the other three phases, covering eight months, on completion of which they will be qualified to write their trade tests. Thereafter their company will probably send them back for a short period of practical training in the first half of 2014 to prepare for their final trade test,” Danie de Kock, the training centre’s superintendent, electrical training says.

Other companies have shown an interest in enrolling apprentices this year for some of the outside training programmes offered by the training centre.