The Artisan Training Institute and The MasterCard Foundation Partnership Targets TVETS

The Artisan Training Institute and The MasterCard Foundation Partnership Targets TVETS

Collaboration will benefit young people and meet the demand for qualified tradespeople

Johannesburg, South Africa, April 3, 2017 -- The MasterCard Foundation and Artisan Training Institute (ATI), a leading technical skills training organization, have partnered to launch a program that will bolster the capacity of Training, Vocational, and Educational Training institutions (TVETs) to provide quality education to young people in South Africa’s artisanal and skilled trades sectors.

During the year-long program, ATI will offer 180 training modules for Education, Training and Development Practitioners (ETDPs) from at least eight under-resourced TVETs. ATI will work individually with practitioners to strengthen and build upon their existing skill set, allowing them to return to their TVETs as better teachers. With an average of approximately 25 students in each classroom, ETDPs, in just one year, have the potential to impact thousands of learners and improve their opportunities for securing employment within the artisanal sector.

“The MasterCard Foundation and ATI partnership will provide technical training, and TVET lecturers will be immersed in the practical, structured training environment that prevails at ATI,” said Sean Jones, CEO, Artisan Training Institute.  “This partnership will support South African youth by producing competent artisans able to support the industry’s growing needs for technical excellence.”

Through this training program, TVETs, ETDPs and ATI will identify each practitioner’s skills gaps and customize modules for a six-week training course in one of the following trades: electric, diesel mechanics, boiler making, millwrighting, plating and welding, auto electrics, rigging and tractor mechanics. ETDPs will also take courses in basic business, presentation and life skills, as well as in coaching so they can provide their students with a more holistic education.

Recent headlines indicate that now, more than ever, countries require a focus on vocational skills to address youth unemployment. South Africa currently has a youth unemployment rate of approximately 54.2 percent. Despite efforts made by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) – including a R2.5billion investment in 2014 – colleges remain under pressure to improve the quality of their training to meet developing industry requirements.

Currently, the competency levels of students graduating from these programs are poor. Technical staff are unable to adequately teach the skills young people require to find work, in part because the ETDPs themselves lack access to further education. Moreover, as a result of retirement, immigration, and better work opportunities abroad, there are fewer and fewer experienced artisans in South Africa. Collectively, these issues impact the employability of the youth graduates who lack the skills needed to be successful. This does not bode well for South Africa’s future competitiveness.

“The cascade effect of this project will have a broad impact on the artisanal sectors in South Africa,” said Jane Baldwin, Associate Program Manager at The MasterCard Foundation. “The ETDPs trained through this project will be better equipped to provide their students with quality technical skills and to support them in securing tangible jobs.

ATI has nine years of experience offering quality technical training for youth in South Africa and working together with the private sector.  The organization has already graduated 5,174 young learners from its demand-driven artisan programs and 90 percent of graduates have obtained employment by the end of their apprenticeships. While ATI has worked with youth learners and corporate technical staff, this project will be the first time that ATI has worked with public TVETS to improve quality training education methods of the artisan sector.

About The Artisan Training Institute (ATI)

The company was established in 1982 and rebranded as the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) in October 2012. ATI is committed to investing in engineering, proudly contributing to the development of skills in Southern Africa. Its mission is to provide the finest quality technical skills training, where ATI learners come to expect nothing but the best from themselves. In developing their skills, learners become more than employable; they become empowered with the ability to shape their own futures. ATI is the recognised technical skills training provider in the recently constituted Gauteng-Regional Centre of Expertise officially acknowledged by the United Nations University. Visit

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.

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