Leading cement manufacturer Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) has launched its own "PPC Operations Academy", which aims to offer a range of programmes, including a nationally-recognised qualification in cement manufacturing.
John Gomersall, PPC chief executive, said: "While the industry talks about the skills shortage, our approach as a nation-building company has always been to invest in our people.
"We have always aimed to be globally-competitive. The standard of the skills we pass on to our people not only makes them more competitive and enriches their lives, but enables us to play a part in building the nation."
Gomersall said PPC intended to take cement-manufacturing skills in the country to a new level by creating an opportunity for cement workers to achieve a formal National Qualifications Framework-registered qualification. The qualification would be accredited as a learnership by the Mining Qualifications Authority.
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said: "PPC's timing could not have been more appropriate given the economic boom that we are experiencing, especially in the construction sector, and the high demands and responsibilities placed on us in preparation for 2010."