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Cape Business News - 10 August 2022

Polyoak’s setter apprentices (L-R) Lee-roy Petersen, Deon Cupido (Technical Training Manager), Noerjah Mathews, Zaynoedeen Valentine, Ghakiem Stemmet, Shane Pieters and Taaqir Adams. Noerjah is on track to qualify as South Africa’s first female Plastics Manufacturing Machine Setter.

SOUTH Africa’s first Trade Test Centre, accredited to assess machine setters working in the plastic manufacturing industry, opened its doors in Diepriver on 1st June 2022.

The Trade Test Centre is situated on the premises of rigid plastic packaging manufacturer, Polyoak Packaging, who developed the curriculum for the Plastics Manufacturing Machine Setter Qualification with a focus on action based learning to ensure its employee apprentices are fully equipped to step into qualified roles as Plastics Machine Setters.

Polyoak’s in-house training division, Polyoak Business School has been working closely with merSETA for accreditation of Polyoak’s programmes and certifying its learners since 2008. (MerSETA is the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority established to promote skills development in terms of the South African Skills Development Act.)

Eight Polyoak apprentices started the theoretical component of this qualification in 2017. At the time, no Test Centres were able to conduct the trade test, so Polyoak embarked on the journey to get its own on-site Technical Centre accredited as an official Trade Test Centre for this specific qualification.

Polyoak is now working with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) to verify learning and ensure correct assessment and moderation of the qualification.

Apprentices who have completed the theoretical and practical components can then undertake their trade test to officially qualify as the first accredited Plastics Manufacturing Machine Setters in South Africa.

“The opening of the first Plastics Manufacturing Machine Setter Occupational Qualification Trade Test Centre in South Africa is a significant achievement for Polyoak and the entire plastics sector. Polyoak has been involved in skills development from the start and has never shied away from a challenge. Therefore, today they have a thriving Business School and can now add the abovementioned trade test centre to their baskets of offerings,” said Bronwin Abrahams, Client Relations Manager for MerSETA.

Polyoak Packaging’s Managing Director, Karl Lambrecht concludes, “Investing in our people is a core value at Polyoak, along with helping to uplift the communities in which we operate.

We are immensely proud of our expertise in plastic manufacturing, and we are honoured to be able to make this Trade Test Centre available for future Plastics Manufacturing Machine Setters to get officially certified. This will help to build much needed technical skills to support inclusive economic growth for South Africa. We are hoping that this qualification will also help to attract people to this field where they can build a career as a qualified artisan.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’

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