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South Africa - US: Intsimbi Team Wiki

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The South African government mandated in 2004 to halve poverty and unemployment by 2014. This is a realistic objective because of the steady improvement of the performance of the SA economy since 1994, resulting in an increased capacity to create new job opportunities. The single greatest impediment to continued economic growth in Southern Africa is a shortage of skills, specifically technical skills, due to the education policies during the apartheid era and a lack of responsiveness from local education and skills development institutions to catch up with global changes in the industrial landscape.

Dubbed the Intsimbi Partnership (Zulu for Metal), education and economic development institutions in Minnesota entered into an agreement with the National Tooling Initiative (NTI) of South Africa in November 2007 that establishes a permanent project office in Minnesota to develop resources to assist with the development of technical skills under the NTI’s Intsimbi Tool, Die and Mold Making (TDMM) rehabilitation strategy.

The NTI is a national (South African), multi-stakeholder initiative that is structured as a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Glass Molds

The NTI was established under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) and the Tooling Association of SA (TASA) to implement a turn-around strategy for the tooling industry. This has been done in order for government and industry to cooperate on the large scale intervention that is required to rehabilitate the TDM industry in SA. The NTI has as a national objective through the Intsimbi Program, the rehabilitation of the South African TDMM industry and thereby contributing as a strategic growth stimulator for Manufacturing and Technical skills development in the broader sense.

Five major driving programs have been identified and defined in order to focus all efforts towards achieving the rehabilitation objective: They are:

  • Skills and expertise development
  • Capacity expansion, SMME (Small Medium and Micro Enterprises) and BBBEE (Broad-based black economic empowerment) Structuring
  • Technology recapitalization
  • Competitiveness improvement and export development
  • PPP Governance structure development.

Stakeholders take part and contribute to these programs on both regional and national levels through formalized legal structures and forums.

It is estimated that R9 billion (US$1.2 billion at R7.5 to US$1) will be needed to roll out the initiative until 2014, which is when the vision of a TDM industry turnaround is expected to be a reality. Of this R1.5 billion (US$200 million) will be used for skills development, R4,5-billion (US$600 million) on technology recapitalization, R1.5 billion (US$200 million) on BBBEE structuring and SMME expansion, and R500 million (US$67 million) on export development.

See also: About South Africa, About Minnesota

The Intsimbi Partnership Goal

The Intsimbi Partnership provides US capabilities and relationships for the development of a new generation of African business and technology leaders and workers who, by virtue of their technical and leadership skills, will transform the African economy by taking advantage of opportunities in a changing global market.

To accomplish this goal the Partnership provides the experience, programs, standards and guidelines, technology systems, skills and other resources in a local context, to equip learners with the academic, technical and social skills required to integrate African businesses as leaders in the global manufacturing industry.

The areas of service under this agreement are:

  • Trainer development
  • Curriculum development
  • Student assessment
  • Math & science re-orientation
  • M-Powered (fast-track entry-level skills)
  • Training standards and guidelines
  • Faculty and student exchange
  • Mentoring/coaching
  • Expertise in training facility layout and equipment procurement.
Glass Manufacturing

The role of this partnership in the US includes:

  • Mobilizing resources
  • Planning and scoping of projects
  • Developing funding models
  • Presentation to SA governance structure
  • Presentation to US stakeholders
  • Resource development
  • Launch pilot projects to specific target sites.

A US team with representatives from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), Minnesota Sate Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), The US Commercial Service, The MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the Minnesota-South African Business Council are the founding partners in the US. Other institutions already on board include Dunwoody College and Dunwoody Academy, both Manufacturing Centers of Excellence, HIRED, and Project Lead The Way. As our plans for developing and implementing programs progress we will be engaging persons and groups who are subject matter experts to achieve the best results possible.

The NTI has identified nine initial pilot projects that will be implemented by the Intsimbi Partnership with immediate effect, targeting TDM skills:

  • P1 Youth Career Development and Marketing Program
  • P2 Student Assessment Tools Development
  • P3 Math & Science Re-orientation
  • P4 Tool & Die Making Apprenticeship Re-development
  • P5 Mold Making Apprenticeship Re-development
  • P6 TDM Certification Program Development
  • P7 TDM Diploma Course Development
  • P8 TDM Degree Course Development
  • P9 Customized Training Program Development

We are already in process to develop the infrastructure and an in-country presence by which all projects will be supported. Pilots for P1, P2 and P3 will launch in August of 2008!

The Partnership Model

An initiative of the size and the scope that the NTI is undertaking under Intsimbi requires a comprehensive approach that addresses all the stakeholders in the skills development value chain. In an attempt to maximize the benefits of participation of US resources and capabilities, a comprehensive partnership model was developed that anticipates all of the areas of cooperation between the US and the SA initiative. The diagram below identifies the areas to be covered under the Intsimbi Partnership, as well as the mechanisms that will be deployed during the life cycle of the intervention program.

The Partnership Concept

The US Partners

The following institutions are providing capabilities to the Intsimbi Partnership:

Founding Partners

National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) (external link): The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is the nations only ANSI accredited developer of precision manufacturing skill standards and competency assessments. NIMS certifies individual skills against standards and accredits programs that meet its quality requirements. NIMS stakeholders represent over 6,000 American companies.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) (external link):The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 colleges and universities, including 25 two-year colleges and seven state universities.

The MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) (external link): The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is the state's principal economic development agency, with programs promoting business recruitment, expansion, and retention; workforce development; international trade; and community development. The agency's mission is to support the economic success of individuals, businesses, and communities by improving opportunities for growth.

The US Commercial Service (external link): The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion unit of the International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade specialists in the U.S. and in more than 80 countries, work with companies looking to export or increase sales to new global markets.

The Minnesota-South African Business Council (external link): The objectives of the SA- MN Business Council are to:

  • Increase economic activity including bi-lateral trade and investment between South Africa and Minnesota
  • Raise Minnesota's profile among prominent South African businesses and business leaders
  • Use the strength of existing relationships through networking to develop new initiatives to link people, opportunities and resources
  • Promote a greater understanding of US-South Africa business opportunities.

Program Partners

Dunwoody College and Dunwoody Academy (external link): The mission of Dunwoody College of Technology is to provide career-focused, applied education leading to immediate jobs and successful careers in business and industry. Dunwoody Academy, a charter high school, provides career-focused training in four industries including manufacturing, along with an enhanced standards-based curriculum.

Manufactured Product

Centers of Manufacturing Excellence (external link): The Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence-Mankato builds partnerships between higher education, business and industry to stimulate economic development through education, training, and applied research. The vision for Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center for Excellence-Bemidji is “smart workers, smart careers, smart companies and smart education.”

HIRED (external link): HIRED, founded in 1968, is a leading Twin Cities area provider of job-skills training and employment training. HIRED assists disadvantaged people and other job seekers to become qualified for and obtain employment.

Project Lead the Way (external link): Project Lead the Way builds strategic partnerships among middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and business and industry to provide students with the rigorous, relevant, reality-based knowledge necessary to pursue engineering or engineering technology programs in college.


Partnership brochure - The Intsimbi Partnership.pdf (173.48 Kb)

News release - SA Intsimbi Partnership press release.pdf (110.29 Kb)

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Monday 10 of August, 2009 17:04:56 UTC by sewilco.
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