Fedusa would join forces with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and employers to help train 6000 artisans in the next five years, it said on Friday.

“We welcome the renewed focus on artisan development as discussed at the national artisan development conference,” Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) vice-president Eddie de Klerk said in a statement.

“The labour market needs more artisans. Young people need to be developed to fulfil this important role in our economy.”

The call for more artisans was made at a two-day national artisan development conference in Midrand, which ended on Wednesday.

“The conference was to establish a platform to review the state of artisan development and improve the present development programmes,” said De Klerk.

He agreed with Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande that the country tended to focus on university education when the labour market needed artisans.

“Our latest project is to partner with the UIF, Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (Setas), and employers,” he said.

“We are in agreement with a single funding model for artisan development and we want all Setas to support this model and ring-fence funds for this purpose.”

The creation of a pool of retired technical tutors and artisans to boost skills development was urgently needed, he said. -Sapa