Why welding’s such a hot career
14 November 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201812758
FOR many years, the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), has provided opportunities for young South African men and women to acquire the skills in the welding and related inspection industries.
“Over 75% of our graduates find meaningful employment and this, in today’s climate, is nothing short of miraculous,” said institute Executive Director Sean Blake. Industries taking SAIW graduates include oil and gas, construction, aeronautical, automotive and shipping industries.
With branches in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, the institute has trained thousands of people over the years.
One of them is Houston Isaacs. Schooled in Saldanha Bay, Isaacs had always dreamed of a job using his hands. While employed as an operator at a well-known steel fabricator, his enthusiasm and dedication won him a bursary to train in welding at the West Coast TVET College.
He completed his training in 2010, but jobs were scarce. That is, until he entered the SAIW Young Welder of the Year competition, in which he did brilliantly across all materials and welding techniques. A leading local gases and welding supplies company noticed his performance and immediately offered him employment.
Since then, his life has changed. He says the future was uncertain until the SAIW put him on the welding map and that he will be forever grateful for the opportunity that the SAIW and gave him in life.
And welding isn’t just for men either. Angel Mathebula’s SAIW Foundation bursary enabled her to compete and secure employment as an IIW International Welder.
Blake said: “We have many women on our courses and they often are the stars of the programmes. There is so much diversity in the welding and inspection world, there is room for anyone with the right credentials who is prepared to make the effort.”
The institute is holding an Open Day on 11 January 2019 to show young career seekers what it can do for them. To register go to www.saiw.co.za.