Damen Shipyards Cape Town Receives Vocational Qualification Pioneer Apprenticeship Award

Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) was honored to receive an award from the Northlink College higher education and training institution. The award is a certificate of appreciation acknowledging DSCT’s role in the commitment to train some of the first “vocational qualification” apprentices under what was then a new program launched by DHET (Department of higher education and training) in January 2019.

Northlink commended DSCT for participating in this program from the start, when its future was still uncertain and its success yet to be demonstrated. DSCT was one of the first companies in South Africa to adopt this new learning programme, the COS (Centres of Specialization) programme, at a time when this concept had not yet been proven. Only recently has it become mainstream. Working in partnership with Northlink College, the first Damen apprentices successfully qualified in the COS Fitting & Turning program, the first of its kind in South Africa.

Each participant participates in a three- to four-year program that ensures that, upon completion, they are proficient in their craft. 50% of their time is spent in college and 50% in the workplace on a rotational basis. 36 people are currently in the program, across eight professions. In addition to fitting and turning, trades available include pipework, welding, boilermaking, plumbing, electrical, rigging and mechanical fitting. Over 90% of trainees choose to accept full-time employment with DSCT upon completion of their training.

DSCT receives the prize for apprentice pioneers of professional qualification

The college teaches the theoretical side of the roles and basic training in the underlying skills,” says Abdullah Galant, Technical Training Manager at DSCT, “while DSCT provides hands-on exposure to the application of those skills on the workplace as well as basic training in safety, firefighting and other essential procedures. New skills like carpentry are likely to be added over time. We now work with four colleges in total and many trainers are former DSCT employees.

With the COS program now available to companies across South Africa, DSCT looks forward to training many more apprentices for vocational qualifications in partnership with Northlink College Cape Town and other apprenticeship centres.
Source: Damen Shipyards Group

Michael A. Bynum