Meet Lerato Ramotebele, a 23-year-old Millwright trainee funded by HWSETA on the Double Trade Artisan Development project at the Durnacol Skills Hub situated in New Castle, Kwa-Zulu Natal. We sat down with her at the programme induction on 13 May 2019 for a short Q & A to know more about her and why she chose this artisan trade.
Who is Lerato, where is she from and how did you end up being here for this programme?
My name is Lerato Ramotebele. I am 23 years old and come from a village called Segale in Lephalale, Limpopo.
I found out about this programme at home, there was an announcement made in the various villages of Lephalale that there would be a meeting held at Abaspoort village. I attended this meeting and we were told that a training centre in New Castle is looking to place students in an artisan programme for two years. I completed my N6 in Electrical Engineering and was therefore was eligible to apply. I went through the various selection processes and after two weeks, I received a call from the centre telling me that I have been successful in my application.
What did it mean to you when you got that call telling you that you’ve been selected?
Honestly, it was a relief. I was disappointed that for a whole year I could not find a job even with my N6. It was so difficult to get an apprenticeship or a learnership. This opportunity came at the right time; it has given me hope of bright future.
Which trade will you be training in the programme?
I am going to be trained as a Millwright, which is training in both mechanical and electrical work.
You mentioned that you completed your N6 in electrical engineering, what made you chose this career path?
The love for electrical work developed gradually from when I was kid. My grandfather always asked me to help him fix electrical appliances or wiring in the house. From helping, I eventually learned how to do it myself by checking and fixing wires and cabling in the house without any help. This love grew from doing what seemed like menial electric diagnoses and repairing to developing a passion for electricity. For example, I Iove dealing with the motors and fixing smartphones. I am first one to study a trade at home and this makes it evident that I was destined to be in this field.
Have you ever experienced discrimination regarding your chosen career path, since electrical work is a male dominant occupation?
Not at all because I went to a technical high school. Doing subjects such as electrical, civil and mechanical was a norm in high school, regardless of you being a girl or boy.
How will this programme benefit you?
Practicals are important in his field and TVET colleges do not provide practical classes to compliment the theory that is taught in the classroom. This is a key advantage for me because I do not have to seek an apprenticeship after the programme. Moreover, the HWSETA will also provide funding for me to acquire a trade test after completing the programme. This will increase my chances of being employed. I am blessed to be given this opportunity, not many are this fortunate.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I plan on learning as much as possible in my field and plan on opening my own training centre in Lephalale for students studying at the Lephalale TVET College. There are not many training centres in our area, which leaves many students from the college stranded and unable to get jobs. I would love to make a change in my community through this.
Outside of fixing household appliances or wiring, what do you love doing in your spare time?
I love baking and listening to gospel music.
Last modified: August 6, 2019