In South Africa, acquiring a skill or a trade is an essential element to creating a life of possibilities, especially for the youth of today. We all know the unemployment stats in our country and the hopelessness that some of our youth face in the labour market. However, there are many amazing learning and development initiatives that are working hard to promote skills development and equality.
Kirsten Locke and Mike Mason from bespoke custom-made furniture company, MMT – Mike Made This, are offering both skills and on-the-job training to two young men. They’ve implemented a carpentry apprenticeship and learnership programme for the deserving candidates. What’s more, these two chaps live with disabilities and are having to overcome even more obstacles than the average youth out there, to hone their skills.
“I’ve recently opened up a new space at the MMT premises, that is mine to work from. I’m pedantic about cleanliness and tidiness when it comes to carpentry, so Mike gave me my own space to allow me to do my projects with ease. I soon realised that if I was going to run my own workshop, I needed some help. That’s when we got the idea to take on two learners,” says Kirsten.
Lerato Nzoyi and Lindokuhle Zungu were chosen from a few short-listed candidates for the job at MMT. Their year will consist of working at MMT as apprentice carpenters and tackling a Furniture Making NQF2 Learnership programme too. “They’ll spend most of their time here with us, learning practical skills and the rest of their time at the training provider, learning the theory behind it all,” adds Mike.
Why exactly did Mike choose these two gentlemen for the job? “I really love working with my hands and actually am a fashion designer in my spare time too. I think Mike saw potential in me to maybe bring my personal sense of creativity to his team,” says Lerato. “I’ve always loved working with my hands and I was excited about taking on such an exciting learnership,” says Lindo.
Kirsten is determined to teach Lerato and Lindo just what it means to be a carpenter and run a workshop. “I want to teach them that time is money. Being creative is a huge part of this job but so is practicing good habits from the start,” she says. Kirsten has planned to teach them how to perfect their skills on carpentry tools like table saws, mitre saws, drill presses, lathes and more. They will learn to hone their skills in sanding, edging and laminating wood too.
“During their first month, I showed them how to make a foot stool from wood and leather. They had to listen and learn, and then they each had to make one for themselves. They both did brilliantly!” adds Kirsten.
The Mirka Deros 150mm electric orbital sander was sponsored by Hausen Abrasives, ensuring they always have quality products to use from brands like Mirka and Bulldog Abrasives. Hausen Abrasives looks forward to sponsoring more products for such intiatives in the future.We’ll be keeping in touch with Lerato and Lindo during their year to find out how their learnership is progressing, so watch this space.
From Mike, Liam & the Hausen Team