Artisan learnership programme seeks to mitigate youth unemployment


Implats’ artisan learnership programme is a training programme which runs for 18 to 42 months. Participants are recruited from within the Company, as well as surrounding communities (Royal Bafokeng villages as well as Meriting, Seraleng and Freedom Park in the Rustenburg area) and the labour sending areas (Taung-Ganyesa and the Eastern Cape).

The benefits of PGM mining for the environment and society were illustrated in the lifecycle assessment (LCA) on the impacts and benefits of PGMs completed in 2014 by the International Platinum Group Metals Association (IPA), to which Implats is affiliated. This study was important in highlighting that the high recyclability of PGMs and their role in society significantly mitigate the environmental impacts of PGM primary production.

As part of its goal to contribute to increased employability among the youth, our learnership programme aligns with and is responsive to the skills development and training needs of the mining industry in particular, and South Africa at large.

Trainees currently on the programme are completing a variety of courses relevant to the mining sector. These include diesel mechanics, boiler making, fitting and turning as well as instrumentation. On programme completion, they will each have a nationally recognised qualification, which will enable them to progress in their careers both within Implats and at other mining companies.

Entry requirements include a Matric certificate or NQF courses from Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET) colleges, medical clearance and strong communication skills. Suitability for the programme is evaluated through a variety of processes and procedures, including psychometric tests and medical fitness checks.

During 2020, 60 participants were recruited onto the programme, bringing the total number of participants on the programme to 288 - 228 of which are internal employee participants. All of the 288 participants are historically disadvantaged, and while age is not considered among the entry requirements, the majority of trainees are between 21 and 30 years old. The artisan programme is playing an important role in the reduction of youth unemployment.