Academy attains artisan training certification: July 2020

The Lesedi Skills Academy received its Trade Test Centre certification from the National Artisan Moderation Body, which enables the academy to perform trade testing of mechanical artisans.

Awarded the certificate in January, the academy was established in September 2015 by engineering, procurement, project management and maintenance solutions house Lesedi Nuclear Services and other stakeholders in the electricity industry to proactively address its skills challenges.

The purpose of the academy is to upskill employed and unemployed learners by providing them with the knowledge and skills to progress in the mechanical engineering and related fields, especially in the Western Cape, which, according to the company, is fast becoming Africa’s leading digital hub and leading the green technology sector.

Skills development and practical experience are critical requirements that enable youth to enter the formal job market, says Lesedi Skills Academy MD Nicky van der Poel.

She adds that, while artisan training is often not the first choice of school leavers, the South African economy has a far greater need of artisans than university graduates, and artisans are almost guaranteed formal employment.

Notably, with the easing of lockdown restrictions by the South African government, the academy is preparing for its learners to return, with strict workplan procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of students, mentors and teachers.

Prior to the lockdown, the Lesedi Skills Academy and nonprofit organisation GreenCape partnered to provide short artisanal courses in boilermaking, basic welding and mechanical fitting.

“The programme recruited 160 Atlantis youth who are currently unemployed, of whom 89 have completed the course. This initiative forms part of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone for Green Technologies, where young people in the community can benefit by being skilled for future employment opportunities.”

Van der Poel notes that these initiatives are important to ensure that skills sets are available in the Western Cape to the benefit of local communities.

The academy has highly trained and qualified staff, as all the trainers are registered with the National Artisan Moderation Body, and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta).

The academy  also includes qualified artisans who can provide training as instructors, registered assessors and moderators.

Additionally, the Lesedi Skills Academy offers formal mechanical training programmes, as well as customised training programmes, which include practical revision in preparation for trade tests. 

To date, the academy has trained more than 200 learners, of whom the majority reside in Atlantis, 40 km north of Cape Town.

Ongoing programmes in mechanical fitting, boilermaking and welding have also assisted the Atlantis community in tapping into opportunities provided by the Atlantis Special Economic Zone.

Further, Lesedi also established a mentorship programme, with Lesedi employees mentoring apprentices. The company has been registered on the Merseta database as such.

The Lesedi Skills Academy is Merseta and Quality Council for Trades and Occupations-accredited, and is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

“In a very short time, the academy has refined its artisan training programmes to produce a skills level fit for the highest quality and safety standards internationally in the nuclear and broader energy sector,” the company says.

As a service provider in the engineering industry, the academy provides focused training programmes that lead to safety-oriented technical staff. This is achieved through Lesedi’s impeccable service record in the energy, industrial and mechanical sectors, with more than 50 years of technical experience.

Moreover, in preparation for every power outage, Lesedi Nuclear Services sends all its semi-skilled personnel, mechanical fitters and technicians to its academy for refresher training.

“With safety as a core value, we do not assume artisan readiness and make a point of ensuring that every fitter is sufficiently geared up for the challenges that await him or her. We have seen significant success in not only fitters meeting plant entry-requirements but also the quality and safety of the work performed,” Van der Poel concludes.

Article by Engineering News: Mamaili Mamaila
Edited by: Zandile Mavuso
3 July 2020

Preparing Atlantis youth for opportunities in the green economy

GreenCape, funded by the City of Cape Town’s Department of Enterprise and Investment, provides technical training and capacity development in green economy-related skill sets in Atlantis. This aligns with the Department’s promotion of sector specific skills development, training and placement.

Towards this end, GreenCape recently partnered with the Lesedi Skills Academy, a technical training provider based in Atlantis, to provide short artisanal courses in boiler-making, basic welding, and mechanical fitting.

These practical classes allow students to engage with specialised tools and learn safety at work, which are essential skills for all technical industries. The course is an entry-level sampler for youth to explore these fields with the hope that they will explore future opportunities and see the green economy as a valid career path.

The programme recruited 160 Atlantis youth who are currently unemployed, of which 89 have already completed the course (the programme has been paused due to COVID-19 lockdown). Each class completes a metal project over the 5-day course; the mechanical fitters design and build a metal finger clamp, the boilermakers make their own metal dustpans and the welders build their own braai grids.

Through these projects and under the guidance of experienced artisan-trainers, the students learn theory and practical skills that they can apply to a wide range of roles.

Having participated in this programme, these job-seekers are also included in the ASEZ opportunity database for possible future interventions.


The Atlantis Special Economic Zone for Green Technologies (ASEZ) has the potential to unlock and create opportunities for the Atlantis community within the green economy. Community involvement in the Atlantis SEZ has been a continued priority of the operating entities since the ASEZ designation.

GreenCape conducted a skills audit of the Atlantis community to identify skill gaps in 2019. The findings of that audit informed the direction of current skills development interventions. The Atlantis community benefits from these opportunities by being more prepared for potential employment opportunities.


Article by GreenCape: 16 April 2020

Newsletter – April 2020


Empowering communities through Skills Training and Development

Our ongoing programs in Mechanical Fitting and Boilermaking have assisted the Atlantis community to tap into opportunities provided by the ASEZ (Atlantis Special Economic Zone). Because of our proven track record in being able to provide technical skills training and development of the highest quality, the Lesedi Skills Academy was able to extend its training programs in order to assist 2 of our stakeholders, DEDAT (Department of Economic Development and Tourism) and Green Cape in fulfilling their mandate of upskilling unemployed individuals during
this period.

Dedat CBMT skills training program

The CMBT (Competency Based Modular Training) program took place from 28th Nov 2019 – 4th March 2020 and targeted candidates that were currently busy or had already completed their TVET trade theory in the field of Mechanical Fitting and Boilermaking. The aim was to expose them to practical simulated training over a period of three months, with the sole purpose of enhancing their employability as well as to reduce the time for job placement.
At the end of the program, a total of 57 candidates completed the CMBT Mechanical Fitter (Phase 1) and Boilermaker (Phase1)
course successfully.

Empowering communities through Skills Training and Development

LSA was mandated to train 160 unemployed youth from the Atlantis area in the various disciplines of Mechanical Fitter, Boilermaker and Welder over a period of 5 days. Candidates were divided into manageable groups and taken through their paces in the trade of their choice. The courses focus specifically on practical work, enabling the candidate to obtain skills in a short period of time which can be immediately applied, either for entrepreneurial benefit or employability. 
As a result of COVID-19, we were only able to complete 3 groups of each respective trade and hope to complete the rest once normality returns.


LSA is proud to announce following NAMB and QTCO accreditations as part of our scope of offerings:
• Occupational Certificate NQF 4: Mechanical Fitter
• Trade Test Centre:  Mechanical Fitter