AFRICA'S PREMIER DRAUGHTING & DESIGN ACADEMY

African Academy, Africa’s Premier Draughting Academy is dedicated to bridging the skills shortage gap in the engineering & built industry. African Academy is a Boksburg based Non-profit organization, established in 1994 and has quantum leaped in its growth and successes since its inception, doubling its total enrolment, with a 50:50 ratio of fee paying and financially disadvantaged students. Although African Academy boasts above national average pass rates and a commendable 90% placement rate of graduates into industry, these efforts are a pin-prick in comparison to the alarming statistics on skills shortages in the engineering & built environment.

According to a recent survey conducted by SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) in conjunction with Jipsa (Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition), 80% of Architectural practices have skills shortages of an astounding 40% capacity deficit. Allyson Lawless, Author of Numbers & Needs (A wake up call to address the capacity crisis in SA civil engineering) , emphasizes that “several aspects require attention, from English and Mathematics in schools, all the way through to tertiary education, graduate training, working conditions and continuing professional development.” This statement is true for all engineering & built disciplines. African Academy’s Board of Trustees has recognised the industry’s needs for skilled professionals & are in the process of implementing an exciting strategy to address these pressing issues.

This strategy includes heightened focus on expansion of campus & human resources, curriculum and specialised course offerings and improved operational execution. Furthermore, the recent appointment of Limakatso Melato of, engineering company, Protekon to the Board of Trustees, is a valuable source for fresh ideas backed by industry experience. Co-founder & Chairman, Craig Yeatman, says that Melato’s appointment to the Board of Trustees “adds exciting new blood to the board, but also wires us into the country’s Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) initiative, ensuring that we respond to the national skills shortage in a sustainable way.”

These critical growth developments can not happen without the necessary funding. Although African Academy’s sponsors have been extremely generous & supported their accomplishments to date, additional resources are needed to realise African Academy’s essential growth. Any Corporates who are interested in supporting this skills shortage initiative, are welcome to contact Fiona McFarlane – Acting Head of College on (011) 892 1415 or e-mail macfarlane@vodamail.co.za .

Watch this space for the exciting developments on African Academy’s growth realization for industry’s benefit…