Message from Jim Guild

Firstly, the reason I am writing this is that Sean Blake has decided to leave the SAIW to pursue his own interests. I will be the caretaker Executive Director until the position is filled on a  permanent basis. We are currently advertising for the post and if you think you may be the right person please see the advert on our website and make the necessary arrangements.

We have made an important change to the Inspectors programme, which has been for many years the flagship programme of the SAIW. We have decided to bring back the ever-popular SAIW Level 1 and Level 2 courses into the mix. This will render the programme more relevant both internationally and, importantly, locally. Please read all about in our lead article.

Meanwhile 2019 has begun with a bang. We had a very successful Open Day in January where more than 50 young people came to the Institute to learn about the opportunities that welding  offers in terms of a career. We will be focusing heavily in the future on showing school leavers and others the advantages of making a career out of welding and related industries. It is, after all, the ‘miracle career’ suitable for all levels of personnel and, in addition, our stats over the years show that the majority of people who complete a course at the SAIW are able to find employment in solid, well-paying jobs. Our courses are internationally recognised enabling our graduates to look locally and globally for work

Also, in January, we held the biennial SAIW Welding Challenge which attracted more than 20 young welders from all over the country. The standard was exceptionally high with many of the judges saying that this was the best overall standard in the history of the competition. Well done to all those who competed and to the winners and runners up. You are proof of the potential for young South Africans to be as good as any other welders in the world.

This competition is an important event in the South African welding calendar and we must pay tribute those sponsors who make itpossible. This year the sponsors were: CHIETA (main sponsor), Afrox, AFSA, Air Products, ArcelorMittal, Aveng Grinaker LTA, Columbus, ESAB, Lincoln and WASA. Thank you all for your generosity. You are all playing a major role in the  development of welding in this country, especially for our youth, and we are deeply grateful.

It is obviously no secret that we are living in very challenging economic conditions in South Africa, but, with the coming elections over, things will improve (the JSE, for example, has shown significant growth since the beginning of the year). So, the SAIW remains positive. We have world-class programmes which can afford young people in this country great opportunity for making a good living even in these challenging times. We also offer those already in the industry the opportunity to uplift themselves in their careers by improving their education and their  remuneration. I invite you all to go the SAIW website to see the wide variety of courses we offer. There is something for you!

Hope you all have a great year and please don’t forget to contact us should you want to know anything about Fusion or the Institute generally.

Jim Guild
Caretaker Executive Director