Opportunities Abound in SA’s Tool Die & Mould Manufacturing Industry


As South Africa’s tool, die and mould manufacturing (TDM) industry looks forward to AfriMold – the annual, international tooling, design and mould-making, and application development trade fair – many job-seekers will be wondering what career opportunities exist in this field?

In truth, there are numerous opportunities for those who feel drawn to this dynamic industry. According to a report just released by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte, “globally more than 10-million manufacturing positions are unfilled and cannot currently be filled due to a growing skills gap.”

Like its global counterparts, South Africa too suffers a critical skills shortage in its TDM industry, a fact that has contributed in no small part to the sector’s mere 2% growth over the past five years. Yet the industry stands poised for growth, as participants at AfriMold will attest to.

If a career in this dynamic sector interests you, a visit to AfriMold is the best place to learn about the industry firsthand and to meet the local and international companies and people who are setting the global standards. AfriMold takes place from 10 to 12 October 2012 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

Among the organisations represented at AfriMold, is the Toolmaking Association of South Africa’s (TASA) and its National Tooling Initiative (NTI). The NTI is a multi-stakeholder intervention in the TDM sector, championed by TASA and supported by the DTI, whose goals are to rehabilitate the industry and stimulate manufacturing and technical skills development.

Says Dirk van Dyk, CEO of NTI, “The toolmaking industry provides a unique opportunity for the continued sustainable development of human capital on an expanded skills front. The global competitive development of tools, moulds and dies requires a diverse skills value chain, involving not only highly qualified personnel but also lower levels of competencies. This translates into a plethora of job opportunities for motivated individuals.”

A look at the TDM skills value chain, reveals a host of career opportunities that range from Tool Maker to Project Manager, Tool Designer, CAM/CNC Programmer, Milling & Turning Operator, Wire EDM & Electro Sparking Operator, Tool Room Manager, Metallurgist, Metrologist, Engineering Analyst, Cost Estimator, Heat Treatment Operator and Polisher, and more besides.

TASA’s ‘TDM Powered Apprenticeship Programme’ offers excellent insight into job opportunities and paves the way for students wanting to enter the TDM field. On the website (www.tdmpowered.co.za), candidates can see an overview of the many careers in the field along with the necessary qualifications, skills and aptitude for each, and can download an apprenticeship application form.

Adds van Dyk, “The value and importance of a thriving TDM industry cannot be overstated. South Africa’s manufacturing industry is utterly dependant on a strong underlying TDM industry, because it is the latter that is responsible for the conversion of raw materials into metals, aluminium and polymers (plastics) and then into various shapes. Given that, TDM is a truly fascinating field that offers rewarding career opportunities in companies that span nearly all manufacturing industries, including aerospace; automotive; chemical; electronics; leisure; marine; medical; mining; military; packaging, rail and more.”

For information on career opportunities in the TDM sector, visit TASA at the AfriMold trade fair. Plan your visit beforehand at www.afrimold.co.za

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