India to train S.African students in tool making

Monday, 21 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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JOHANNESBURG: A group of South African students will undergo a year-long intensive training programme in tool design and manufacture at a prestigious facility in Maharashtra.

The group of nine students, including a South African Indian, left for India Saturday and will train at the Indo-German Tool Room Centre in Aurangabad city.

The centre is part of a network of tooling training centres, established over the past 15 years with German technical cooperation and support, and has state-of-the-art production facilities.

A training programme has been specially designed for South African graduates in mechanical engineering; particularly those from Technikons, taking into account the needs of the local tooling industry.

The practical component, which constitutes roughly half of the course, will be carried out in a full production environment through on-the-job training. All major areas of tooling will be covered, namely injection moulding, die-casting and press tooling.

Successful trainees will be highly geared up to enter industry at all levels.

In December 2003, the South African department of science and technology in conjunction with the German Technical Cooperation organised a visit to India to discuss the Indo-German Tool Room Programme.

Since then there has been discussion and negotiations between South African organisations, under the banner of the National Tooling Initiative and the Indian ministry for small-scale industries.

The South African High Commission in India and the Indian ministry of external affairs also extended support to these initiatives.

Trishane Chinnasamy, the only South African Indian student in the group, is from KwaZulu-Natal province, where the majority of South Africa's 1.2 million Indians live.

The training of the students by India is part of an effort to alleviate the shortage of skills in the area of tool design and manufacture.

This is seen as the main obstacle to competitiveness and economic growth within this industry, particularly with the growing strength of the local automotive industry and its increased demand for tooling.

Source: IANS
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