The Master Artisan Academy South Africa (Maasa), located in East London, was offi- cially opened last month with the aim of contributing towards increasing the general standard of artisanship in South Africa.
The academy focuses on electrical engineering (construction), welding applications and practices, mechanical engineering (fitting) andrenewable and sustainable energy solutions.
These trade areas are delivered by means of learnerships, apprenticeships, skills programmes and short programmes that can accommodate specific company and individual requirements.
Training at Maasa is conducted by qualified and experienced artisans in their respective trades, and skills programmes on offer vary from five-day specialised welding courses to eight-week engineering courses.
The facilities at Maasa, an accredited provider under the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta), consist of instruction rooms, a fitting and hand skills engineering workshop, a welding workshop, electrical engineering workshops, a solar thermal laboratory and a photovoltaic and wind power laboratory in the early stages of development.
Maasa MD Cobus Potgieter says that training is done at the academy with the aim of providing future artisans with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to carry out work effectively and efficiently.
He explains that the Maasa approach to training is based on traditional artisan principles, skills and discipline, underpinned by a blended learning approach where theory is combined with practical exercises, projects and workplace practice.
“We aim to equip the labour force of the country with ability, fortitude and dedication to enable them to play a meaningful role in the economic growth of Southern Africa,” he says.