This week on Khetha #33

Radio Stations: SABC Radio Stations
Topic: It’s cool to be a female artisan
Original Script Written byCelimpilo Khumalo
Programme Date: 19 – 22 August 201912 – 15 August 2019
Week: 33
Target Audience: The general publics

Script Notes:

  • The programme is entitled ‘It’s cool to be a female artisan’
  • This script will be translated to other official languages and broadcast on 10 PBS radio stations.
  • The programme is characterised by the radio presenter and a guest from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
  • The radio presenter is the main anchor of the programme and he/she will control the activities on the programme.

    The objectives of this programme are to:
  • Commemorate women’s month and TVET College month;
  • Encourage girls and women to become artisans;
  • Inform listeners about artisan opportunities; and
  • Discuss apprenticeships as post-school options and how to apply.

The entire programme runs for 30 minutes; which includes PSAs.

Opening Billboard: ‘This programme is brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education’

Programme Introduction

Presenter: Good day and a warm welcome to all our listeners. It is time for another enlightening episode of Khetha, brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education. August is an exciting month whereby we commemorate, celebrate and pay tribute to all the women in South Africa. It is Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college month therefore we are encouraging the public particularly girls and women to become artisans.

We’re joined in the studio by our guest speaker from the Department of Higher Education and Training, who will tell us about “It’s cool to be a female artisan” in South Africa and how you can access these opportunities. It’s good to have you on the show ********.

Presenter: What is an Artisan?

Guest: The term artisan is derived from the Latin word artire, which means to instruct through arts. The term referred to skilled workers who could make things by hands, and this practice continued until the end of the middle ages with the introduction of apprenticeships. Therefore an Artisan is a skilled worker who has acquired training and employment through formal or informal learning for example a welder, plumber, hairdresser, and list goes on.

Presenter: Why are we targeting girls and women to become artisans?

Guest: The country needs more artisans to support infrastructure development, economic growth and wealth creation. At present the country is producing on average 13 000 qualified artisans per year and of those few are women. The number has to more than double in the next 11 years leading up to 2026, and reach 30 000 by 2030.

There is a shortage of women in the artisan career fields. This month we are saying “It’s cool to be a female artisan” because we want to encourage women to see artisanship as a career of choice.

There are several factors that prevent women from pursuing technical careers.

According to a survey, girls become interested in technical careers at age 11, but lose interest soon after. Experts believe that lack of female mentors and gender inequality are some of the factors responsible for this trend. Another factor is that gender bias is extremely prominent in the technical industry.

We want to encourage those girls who are interested in technical areas to pursue artisanal careers despite the challenges that they may face because these careers are the key to our economic development.

We want to see women dominating and carving out their place in this traditionally male-dominated sector.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has the “Decade of the Artisan advocacy campaign” which drives a skills revolution towards making artisanship fashionable, hence the slogan, “it is cool to be a 21st century artisan”.

Presenter: You have mentioned an interesting slogan “It’s cool to be a female artisan”. What are the critical trades needed in South Africa that require women?

Guest: There are four categories of scarce and critical trades offered by different Sector Education and Training Authorities.

The four categories are as follows:

  1. 1.Manufacturing Trades:
  • Welders - They spend their day cutting, shaping and combining materials to make different parts for a variety of industries. Some of these may include the construction, engineering, automobile or aerospace fields.
  • Boilermakers - construct steel components for major structures like buildings and bridges, they make machines like pressure vessels, mining equipment and excavation buckets work in perfect order.
  • Pipe Fitters – A Pipe Fitter is a specialised tradesperson who installs, maintains and repairs high pressure mechanical piping systems. These systems are often found in aircraft, industrial plants and various marine vessels.
  1. 2.Mechanical Trades: 
  • Automative Mechanics - Automotive mechanics are skilled metalworkers who build, assemble, and renew internal combustion engines and engine components according to manufacturer specifications. They perform a variety of machining operations on engines and engine components of used vehicles.
  • Fitters and Tunners - Fitters and turners are highly skilled craftspeople who manufacture, construct, assemble and fit components for machinery, vehicles, installations and other apparatus or articles. Fitters and turners are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of such equipment.
  • Riggers - Riggers are responsible for the inspection, lubrication and maintenance of all types of lifting tackle, including cranes, derricks, driving winders, jacks, hoists and manually operated lifting equipment. Riggers can also perform groundwork such as the clearing of tracks after a railway accident, or installing or moving heavy machinery.
  • Diesel Mechanics - Diesel mechanics diagnose and repair the mechanical and electrical faults of diesel vehicles and machinery. Diesel mechanics diagnose engine trouble, dismantle the engine when necessary, and replace or repair defective parts. They reassemble the engine and repair mechanical and electrical faults in construction machinery.
  1. 3.Electrical Trades:
  • Millwrights - install conveyor systems, escalators, giant electrical turbines and generators. They also do maintenance on machinery in factories, and do much of the precision work in nuclear power plants. They are skilled construction mechanics who study and interpret blue prints, and then put their knowledge and expertise to work drilling, welding and bolting.
  • Electricians - electricians are involved in the generation, transmission, distribution and usage of electricity.They install, repair and maintain electrically operated equipment such as generators, geysers, refrigerators and stoves.
  • Mechanical Fitters - A Mechanical Fitter is responsible for fitting and assembling parts made from metal and other materials to make production machinery.They work from detailed drawings using hand and machine tools. Precise measuring is necessary.
  1. 4.Civil Trades:
  • Plumbers - Plumbers install water, gas and waste disposal systems in homes, factories and other buildings.
  • Bricklayers - Bricklayers and plasterers are usually the first tradesmen employed on a building project where they are responsible for the building of the inner and outer walls of the building as well as the finishing of these structures. The bricklaying and plastering trade is one of the oldest trades in the building industry and has not changed much since the early days. The material used has developed and changed to a great extent
  • Carpenters - Carpenters are artisans who saw, shape, fit and erect wooden frameworks, roof timbers and boarding for the construction of and fitting out of buildings.
  • Joiners- Jcupboards.

For more information on the scarce and critical skills trades list, listeners can visit the Career Development Services website on www.careerhelp.org.za or they can contact the Career Advice Helpline for further assistance.

Presenter: What is an apprenticeship and why are apprenticeships important in artisan development?

Guest: Apprenticeships combine theory, practical work and workplace practice in a chosen trade field, in which apprentices learn the practical and theoretical aspects of the designated trade. An apprenticeship is a good way to prepare yourself for the future with on-the-job training in a highly skilled career. An apprentice is trained by a qualified artisan who is an expert in their field. They share their skills and knowledge to help the apprentice become an expert too.

A formal contract is signed between the apprentice and the pre-approved employer for the specified duration of the apprenticeship.

The apprentice is viewed as an employee and works for the company for the agreed duration in order to gain skills and experience necessary to work in the industry.

People involved in the apprenticeship:

  • The employer who will determine if you qualify for an apprenticeship;
  • The apprentice who is the one that enters into the apprenticeship;
  • The training provider that provides the theoretical classroom training; and
  • TheSector Education and Training Authority that provides funding for the apprenticeship.

Process of the Apprenticeship

  • An employer or company advertises the apprenticeship; and
  • The training centre that offers the learnership must be accredited with a relevant SETA.

A contract is signed by the employer and apprentice in agreement regarding the apprenticeship offered by the employer.

Presenter: How does one become an Artisan?

Guest: There are seven steps to take in order to become the artisan that you want to be.The Department of Higher Education and Training through the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) has come up with seven simple and practical steps to becoming a fully qualified artisan:

Step 1: Career Management - Learners in grade 9 – 12 are expected to make good subject and career choice. They are encouraged to think about which artisan they want to be, for example, they must look at their abilities, interests and community needs. They must know everything about their intended careers (Where is the course offered? Which course fits in with their abilities, interests and values? What are the required subjects? How much does it cost? Is there financial aid?How long does it take to complete? And etc.).

Step 2: Fundamental and Vocational Theory – Once you have chosen the artisan field that you like, You are will need to do trade theory. Trade theory prepares you for a specific trade, craft and careers at various levels from trade, craft, technician or a professional position.

As an example, if you want be an electrical artisan, you need to study electrical engineering at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college.

Step 3: Learner Programme Registration and Funding – You are required to complete work place training/experience under the supervision of an approved qualified Artisan or training college.

Step 4: Occupational Knowledge and Practical Learning – Occupational knowledge and practical learning should be specific to the artisan trade and may be offered by various training providers. As an example, if you are doing electrical engineering trade theory, you should do relevant practical occupational learning.

Step 5: Workplace Training – The workplace learning process is known as the "on the job" learning process that allows you to gradually re-learn what you learnt in the practical learning process but applied in a real workplace.

Step 6: Trade Testing – After completing the occupational knowledge, practical and workplace learning, the Skills Development Act requires you do a Trade Test before you can be certified as a qualified artisan, irrespective of the route or pathway of learning you used (formal or informal leaning).

Historically, trade test application were done through 126 labour centres located in all provinces ,but now all Trade Test application will be done at TVET Colleges as of the 1 April 2016 (the people who want to do a trade test can visit the DHET public college for trade test screening and application).

Step 7: Trade Quality Assurance and Certification - Through all the steps quality is checked and is an on-going process. It is therefore not an isolated activity focusing on the final external summative assessments or trade testing only, but is implemented right from the qualification development, learner selection, accreditation and delivery processes.

Presenter: Where can one pursue the artisan qualification if they are interested?

Guest: The theoretical knowledge part of the apprenticeship is offered at Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. Listeners can check the application dates, admission requirements and funding opportunities available at the TVET colleges.

Practical training however, is obtainable from an employer who will teach them the skills of the trade by working under the guidance of a qualified Artisan.

Listeners are encouraged to check the application dates and admission requirements at the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. It is important to “APPLY NOW”.

Presenter: Where can listeners get support when they want to be artisans?

Guest: There are support structures within the DHET:

Listeners who want to start with their trade theory need to contact the TVET colleges for Programmes, admission and funding information. All TVET colleges have Student Support officers who are available to assist at the college. The Student Support Officers can assist with information on available programmes and making a career choice.

Learners who are looking for practical workplace placement and trade test information can contact the National Artisan Development Support Centre (NASDC) or National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) on:

086 999 0125

The Career Development Services is also available to offer support in the form of career information through our website, social media platforms, career resources, guidance and counselling through our national career advice portal and trained staff. Listeners are welcome to contact us for support.

Presenter: Any words in closure for our listeners?

Guest: The Artisan career paths are very important and we encourage women and girls to explore these scarce careers, which will create and develop a world class infrastructure, excellent economic growth and a wealthy South Africa which everyone will be proud of. It’s cool to be a female artisan!

Presenter: Thank you for such an enlightening and interesting show. So how can one get in touch with you if they need further information?

Guest: For more information our listeners can reach us through

  1. SMS with your question or send a “please call me” to 072 204 5056, or
  2. Call 086 999 0123, which is a share-call line, from Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 4:30pm,
  3. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. Visit to our offices at 123 Francis Baard, Pretoria
  5. Vist the CareerHelp website at ,
  6. Facebook: Like the page “Career Advise Website”,
  7. Twitter at rsacareerhelp

To listen to Khetha podcasts, visit SABC Education platform at http://iono.fm/p/230

Closing Billboard: ‘This programme was brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education’.