South Africa’s Gauteng Department of Economic Development in partnership with National Foundry Technology Network, a Department of Trade and Industry initiative, has opened the Gauteng Foundry Training Centre (GFTC). The first apprentices will begin their training in January 2014.
“The foundry industry is important to infrastructure development, which is an important factor in economic development,” said Albert Chanee, head of economic development for Gauteng. The GFTC is intended to promote localization by helping to improve the global competitiveness of the metalcasting industry.
Located at the Ekurhuleni East College in Kwa Thema, South Africa, the center will offer state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure for theoretical and appropriate practical training, addressing a scarcity of skilled workers. The initial focus will be artisan training for melters, molders and patternmakers. The programs will encompass skills training, non-technical training and recognition of prior learning. The center also will function as the regional hub for management training courses.
The GFTC will focus on sand casting using chemically bonded and green sand as well as permanent mold gravity diecasting. Based on the structure of the industry in Gauteng, casting materials reportedly will be gray iron and aluminum, with the possible inclusion of ductile iron.
The organizations intend to apply for skills program accreditation, which would allow companies to claim additional funding for workers undergoing the training.