Bridging the skills gap by supporting welding training courses

28 October, 2014:In partnership with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), leading gases and welding products group, Afrox, has invested more than R1-million in upgrading and resourcing the welding centres at five underprivileged technical high schools.

The schools include Katlehong Technical High School in Katlehong, Primrose High School in Germiston, Modiri Technical High School in Mamelodi, Missouri Secondary School in Eldorado Park and Jabulani Technical High School in Soweto.

Through the GDE partnership, Afrox will provide learners with the opportunity to optimise their skills in the field of welding, which is currently a critically scarce skill in the country. The upgrading and resources partnership campaign was officially launched on 24 October 2014 at Jabulani Technical High School.

Afrox Managing Director, Brett Kimber says: “This partnership will provide the opportunity to improve knowledge and practical skills among teachers to enable them to deliver the full curriculum and enhance learner performance in mechanical technology.

The five school upgrades took six months to complete and included outfitting classrooms with welding equipment and consumables to conform to the highest of health and safety standards.Equipment investment cover sa range of Afrox Transarc MIG inverter power sources and personal protective equipment as well as numerous consumables, such as alloys, electrodes and wires.

As part of its commitment to the partnership, Afrox will also fund extensive teacher training in the field of welding. These teacher training programmes will provide additional support to the GDE’s ‘Turnaround Plan of Technical High Schools’.

The teacher training is an accredited 40-hour training programme scheduled over a ten-week period commencing in January 2015 and will take place at Afrox’s Demonstration Centre in Germiston.

Kimber confirms that Afrox is currently in the process of upgrading an additional 14 schools nationwide, in order to support the Government’s economic and skills development inSouth Africa. Regions benefiting include the Eastern and Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“Our long-term aim is to offer bursaries to matriculants by entering into partnerships with technical colleges nationwide. By creating awareness among school pupils, we want to encourage and promote a career in welding at grassroots level, through long-term partnerships,”he adds.

Funding the Gauteng initiative

The funding of this initiative is being facilitated through Sci-Bono – a world-class science centre initiated by the GDE that supports maths, science and technology education. Housed in the historic Electric Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg, the centre includes state-of-the-art classrooms, a 240 seater auditorium, two fully equipped science laboratories and an ICT laboratory.

Sci-Bono is committed to addressing the scarce skills needs of South Africa by contributing to the effective delivery of quality maths, science and technology education in all schools in the province.

Sci-Bono’s teacher development department is responsible for the training of all Gauteng maths, science and technology educators. As South Africa’s largest science centre, Sci-Bono is open seven days a week to schools and the general public. For more information visit