Ricochet News

Scarce skills training and practical experience for promising youth in George

Oct 1, 2018
Scarce skills training and practical experience for promising youth in George

A joint development programme aimed at training youth from rural communities scarce skills on Thursday culminated in a visit to the George Municipality’s Water Treatment Works and a training session in laboratory testing.

Initiated by the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec), the programme involved theoretical training at Boland College, in association with The Water Academy, and then six months’ practical training at the George Municipality water treatment plants and related facilities.

The young people will stay on another six months at the municipality for the community service component of the programme, where they will provide support services at water treatment facilities as needed.

The fourteen students, recruited from the Uniondale/Haarlem rural areas, have been working at the water and waste water treatment plants in Uniondale and Haarlem since March 2018, which was supplemented with advanced on-the-job training and coaching by senior staff from the George Municipality Water and Waste Water Treatment sections.

Visit to George Municipality’s Water Treatment Works

“The visit to George was the culmination of their training and an opportunity to see a big scale operation – everything they learnt in Uniondale and Haarlem but just on larger scale, with more influencing factors and a different combination of water sources.

"They have also seen the water testing laboratory in action yesterday and received practical training on using the laboratory equipment,” said George Municipality Superintendent Water Purification, Melvin Koopman.

“The students have proven themselves more than able and I am confident they are equipped to make a valuable contribution to any water testing facility.

"The next step for them would be to find internships so they can gain the experience required to be registered with the relevant professional council, which is a requirement for working as a permanent technician on a water treatment plant.

"Each of these students will make excellent interns, and we hope that budget will allow for us to attain some of them after their community service, as they would be a real asset."

George Municipality Human Resources Manager Training and Development, Jenny Kiewit, said the cooperation between George Municipality, Narysec, Boland College and The Water Academy was an excellent example of how joint projects could benefit communities beyond the basics.

“Socio-economic conditions in rural areas such as Uniondale and Haarlem are dire, and opportunities for meaningful development and jobs are very limited. By equipping youth in scarce skills, it improves their chances of being employed, which raises their own living standards, may lead to the lives of their families improving and ultimately positively affect their communities’ socio-economic status.

"The George Municipality is proud to be part of this project and welcomes more such partnerships in future,” says Ms Kiewit.