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Artisans will be in demand in an uncertain future

Published Sep 21, 2020

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After investing years of their lives, some graduates are struggling to find employment. They emerge qualified, but find there is fierce competition from an oversupply in their skill in the marketplace.

If you pursue a path as an artisan, however, you'll find faster access to full-time employment. Apprentices are often offered an apprenticeship with a company within their first year. This means you can start earning money much sooner.

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With enrolment in artisan training, you are placed as an apprentice with an employer immediately and earn a stipend from the first year of training.

According to Sean Jones, CEO of the Artisan Training Institute (ATI): “Artisans... are almost guaranteed formal employment and, upon graduation, can earn R20 000 to R25 000 per month. That’s more than most university graduates will earn.”

The country’s economy has been in great need of mid-level skills for years, and artisans play a vital role in the economy.

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According to Jones, when you become an artisan (nurse, baker, electrician, diesel mechanic or tractor technician), it can provide a springboard to other careers in engineering, sales, training, management or entrepreneurship.

"The irony is that many jobs in the corporate world will simply disappear in the very near future. But there will always be jobs for artisans," said Jones.

Another area in need of skilled personnel is within South Africa’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs). Within this arena, artisans are needed for the building and construction of roads, universities, schools, power stations and harbours, among other types of infrastructure.

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The government is viewing the encouragement of artisans and other mid-level skills as a priority. The Department of Higher Education and Training is investing billions in the further development of TVET Colleges. This is so we don’t have to look outside the country for skilled people.

At the moment, skills in great demand are:

- Bricklayers;

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- Electricians;

- Millwrights;

- Boilermakers;

- Plumbers;

- Mechanics (this includes automotive mechanics);

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