Mmegi Online :: Shortage of artisans hits Phikwe
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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Shortage of artisans hits Phikwe

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The engineering and mining industry here suffers from a shortage of artisans and is forced to recruit from outside the country.
By CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Correspondent
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Shortage of artisans hits Phikwe








The situation is made worse by artisans produced by Selebi-Phikwe Technical College (SPTC) who are found wanting partly because the college does not work with Madirelo Training and Testing Centre (MTTC).

The Managing Director of S and L Engineers and Erectors, Shane Granger, told Business Week this week that SPTC graduates are not marketable because they do not have the experience and are unable to deliver when given work to do.

"The graduates do not have the skills or any clue when they leave the college," Granger said. "

We end up being forced to train them for two years to get them ready for the industry when we are not a training school. We are forced to use foreign artisans because they know what is required of them." He explained that the private sector work by deadlines which cannot be missed on account of "training someone". According to Granger, SPTC courses are not suitable for the market because even the theory part is not enough.

Marketable artisans are those who have worked for mines and been to different companies. Granger said when on attachment, the "rude" behaviour of SPTC students is "uncalled for".

 "During a meeting with them, we told the technical college management that they are failing to supervise their students when they are on attachment and that that is why the students are not doing well in the industry," he said. "We raised many issues that they promised to address but even now

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we are still waiting for the answer."

The Workshop Manager of Motor Rewind Centre, Daniel Smith, agreed that there is a shortage of artisans in Selebi-Phikwe. In his view, graduates from all technical colleges in Botswana are below standard and their graduates do not have the experience required.

"The shortage affects us as industry," Smith said. "The quality of artisans from all technical colleges in the country is below par and they are not well equipped with the skills required by the industry."

Smith noted that Selebi-Phikwe is considered a remote area by young aspiring artisans and they resort to working in towns, making it difficult to recruit artisans to work here.

The Deputy Principal of Selebi-Phikwe Technical College, Bose Mhizha, said they offer two programmes, BTEP and NCC, and that industry has only raised complaints about the BTEP programme that was introduced in 2000.  She explained that the complaints have forced the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to take a decision to review BTEP syllabus. She said the NCC programme has never met any criticism and that most of its graduates are marketable, especially in the mining industry.

Mhizha said mining companies enrol their NCC students and provide them with further training before hiring them. "The BTEP programme will be revised during this financial year and money has been secured for that," she said. "The programme offers more theory and less practice, which makes our students perform badly in the industry."

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