8 October 2015

Recognition for contribution of DSCT Apprenticeship Training Centre

The South African Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr Rob Davies MP, recently visited Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) to review some of the facilities that have received support from his department, and to present certificates to nine apprentices who have achieved Artisan status.

The DSCT Apprenticeship Training Centre operates a programme that gives young men and women the opportunity to learn the necessary skills in order to achieve Artisan status in welding and boiler making, and at the same time provides valuable jobs. Apprentices benefit from high quality training with the possibility of long-term employment at the end of the 3 year programme either with DSCT or another organisation requiring their skills. As part of the international Damen Shipyards Group, the trainees also benefit from access to the entire group’s technical experience, knowledge base and skills transfer.   

The Department of Trade & Industry (dti) has supported DSCT in the expansion and improvement of its shop-floor facilities, as well as in the successful launch of its apprentice training programme. The dti provided financial assistance for the renovation of an existing production hall and for the replacement of obsolete lifting equipment with two new units capable of lifting 10 tonnes each. This led directly to the production of three vessels in that facility, that otherwise would not have been built. With over 120,000 man hours going into each vessel during construction, the additional work has assisted in sustaining existing production jobs and created at least 50 more. It has also provided an excellent training ground for the apprentices to gain on-the-job experience.

The minister’s visit was in recognition of the contribution that DSCT makes to creating job opportunities in South Africa and its contribution to stimulating economic growth within the shipping sector. The most recently qualified Artisans of 2015 were honoured by Minister Rob Davies, Chairman of DSCT Mr Sam Montsi and DSCT Training Officer Mr Dederick Ross, during a certificate ceremony on the day. The ceremony highlighted the hard work and dedication required by individuals to reach Artisan status. Since 2010, 52 young people, including 11 women, have benefitted from the apprenticeship programme. The yard’s commitment to supporting positive change in South Africa has been demonstrated again this year with eleven new apprentices having been taken on. DSCT’s efforts also contribute to the South African Government’s economic change initiative, known as Operation Phakisa, one element of which is the development of the country’s maritime sector. 

Before presenting the certificates, Minister Rob Davies and his team were given a tour of the yard where they viewed vessels under construction, including two Shoalbusters 3009 for local operator Smit Amandla Marine and an ATD Tug 2909 for the South African Navy, the second such order from them. The visitors were also taken to one of two FCS 5009 vessels, the largest of this class in the Damen range. Built at the yard, the FCS 5009 vessels are now held in stock ready for delivery to customers.

“We were honoured to host Minister Rob Davies and his colleagues,” said Mr. Montsi. “Our apprentices make a valuable contribution to the success of the yard and we take great pleasure in seeing them grow in confidence as they develop their skills. We are also very pleased to be playing our part in helping to expand the skilled workforce that will play a vital role in the future of the South African economy”.

On the photo above from left to right:  Sam Montsi (Chairman of Damen Shipyards Cape Town), Dr Rob Davies (South African Minister of Trade & Industry – dti), Jamie Lee Carelse (DSCT Artisan receiving certificate), Dederick Ross (Training Officer for Damen Shipyards Cape Town). Far right behind Jamie Lee Carelse receives a certificate in recognition of her hard work to achieve Artisan status from South African Minister of Trade & Industry, Rob Davies.


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