Answering the urgent need for a good career ……

SAIW Open Days will play an important role

As part of its strategy to promote welding as a career to the youth of South Africa, the SAIW has put into motion a series of Open Days to enable young people who are in the process of deciding what to do with their lives to see what welding and its related technologies can offer them.

The first Open Day was held with great success in Johannesburg on the 11th January 2019 with Cape Town and Durban to follow in the near future.

According to the SAIW caretaker executive director, Jim Guild, there is little doubt that one of the most pressing global issues for young people is finding a solid, fulfilling and financially  rewarding career. “In a country like South Africa, where the unemployment rate is amongst the highest in the world, and job opportunities increasingly hard to come by, this issue is perhaps the most urgent of all,” he says.

But, he adds, all is not lost! “Welding, being the foundation of almost everything that is manufactured, constructed or built, constantly requires welding professionals to operate in a vast range  of industries including the construction, automotive, oil and gas, aeronautical, shipping, power generation and more. In fact, the welding industry is pretty much the perfect hedge against  recessionary economies in terms of its ability to provide employment.

“We have called welding the ‘miracle career’ because of its ability to provide employment both locally and abroad with recent surveys showing, for example, that most of the people who  successfully complete an SAIW course get employed in a stable job,” Guild says.

Open Day Initiative

The first ‘experimental’ Open Day in Johannesburg was a rip-roaring success with nearly 50 young people attending. “The response was better than we expected pointing to the need for young people to gain first-hand experience of what the welding industry can offer in terms of a career,” says Guild.

He adds that experiencing at close quarters the wide range of career possibilities in welding helps to counter the stigma that welding is a low-paying ‘backyard’ activity for fixing gates and burglar bars.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Guild says. “In the three broad categories of Welding Inspection and Technology, Non-Destructive Testing, and Practical Welding there are a host of different complex, highend specialities to choose from enabling young people to find a career in something that suits their individual interest and temperament … and make a good living!”

All participants were given a chance to, inter alia, make a weld, see a robotic welding machine in action, see the processes involved in a host of non-destructive testing techniques and to witness some of the activities in the SAIW’s state-of-the-art Materials Testing Laboratory.

The response from the participants was, as expected, enthusiastic.

Brian Phungwayo said: Excellent Day! Very Informative. Made me very interested to find out more about welding as a career.

Bonisile Isaac said: Wonderful, informative. Wish we had had even more time!

Ishmael Manzini: It was a perfect day. So interesting and exciting. Thank you for giving me the chance to be part of it!

For more information please contact SAIW on 011 289 2100