"If I want to encourage young
people back home to get to where I am,
I have to be an example."
“Now my son will have the opportunities
to make his dreams come true.”
“Today I work in a male dominated work force.
My father would be so proud of me.”

Tiso Foundation Apprenticeship Bursary

Please note that the Foundation will not be calling for new applications this year. We will announce once we open again via our social media platforms, 

South Africa’s economic development and the increase in infrastructure investment has created a growing demand for trained and qualified artisans. However, the lack of appropriate training capacity, exacerbated by apartheid and an era of discriminatory government policies has left a dearth of young skilled artisans. These circumstances have necessitated programs geared to provide a viable training stream for thousands of black youth, who otherwise would have little chance of tertiary education and would face the cruel prospect of unemployment.

Established in 2009, the Tiso Foundation Apprenticeship Bursary offers artisanal training to disadvantaged, but talented young people, and prepare them for jobs critically required in our growing economy. Partnering with the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) which provides high quality technical training for electricians, diesel mechanics, boilermakers and millwrights, the Foundation identifies and supports learners who demonstrate sound determination and ability. Beneficiaries of the programme – black youths between the ages of 18 and 34 years – selected through a rigorous process, are directed into a stream of training best suited to their aptitude and capabilities.

ATI, accredited with the Mine Qualifications Authority (MQA) and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector (MERSETA), offers six month theoretical and technical training courses. Following completion of the course, the learner is placed in an 18-month apprenticeship with a relevant and suitable company. There they sharpen their skills, prepare for the trade tests and receive valuable work experience. Thereafter, they return to be examined for their trade test which is the final hurdle that enables them to become fully certified and qualified artisans. Many of the newly qualified artisans have returned to full time positions in these companies. The programme focuses on building skills in boiler making, welding, fitting and turning and the electrical trades, as these trades continue to be the priority skills required in the market. Over the next five years the programme aims to train 500 skilled and qualified artisans of which at least half will be black women.

Integral to the success of the programme are partnerships with leading South African companies. In 2009 Tiso Foundation entered into a matched funding partnership with the Aveng Group CSI Trust, in 2013 to date with Bell Equipment. To date the partnership has seen a total of 300 learners trained in fitting and turning, boiler making, welding and electrical trades.

Tiso Foundation together with ATI selects the learners for a rigorous process that:

  • Assesses their attitude and capabilities, directs them through a technical and support stream of training, gives them the capacity to become employed, or start their own business

The programme is designed to ensure that delivery is based not only on high quality, relevant course material, but also on experiential and practical learning that complements the content taught in the classroom.