SMART FUTURES: The department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs’ head, Ikhraam Osman, centre, with a group of matriculants who will be trained by fibre optics company FibreCo.
FibreCo, a company which produces fibre optic cables, will be training 30 technicians from the province – as part of the 200 technicians to be trained across the country under its development plan to increase skills and alleviate poverty.
In the Free State 30 people have been chosen from the company’s database to participate in the initiative.
According to the department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs’ spokesperson, Thenjiwe Mbashe, the first training programme was officially opened by FiberCo CEO Arif Hussain and the head of the Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Ikhraam Osman.
“The training targeted Grade12 pupils who completed their matric education with physics and mathematics as their subjects.
“These trainees are placed on the FibreCo database and we extract from the database list when the company needs maintenance people,” Mbashe said. Mbashe said the company offered pupils the opportunity to apply for positions within the telecommunication industry.
“The target areas for cables /network points (fibre optics) are those that run through the N1 from Xhariep to Sasolburg,” she said.
Mbashe said they launched the five-day programme late last month and said it would give candidates to receive a better chance of building a career after passing matric.
“The partnership between the department and the FibreCo will ensure alleviation of poverty and ease youth unemployment in the province,” she said.
“We interviewed many candidates but 30 candidates proved ready to take on the challenges of this five-day intensive course,” she said.
Osman encouraged the students to grab the opportunity granted to them with both hands as it did not come around often. He also recalled how racial segregation in the past did not allow most citizens to be exposed to such opportunities, especially in the technology field.
Osman also emphasised the importance of private-public partnerships in the development of the citizens of our land.
FibreCo Telecommunication’s Arif Hussain said FibreCo had already installed 800km of cables, linking Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and East London.
According to Hussain, the fibre optic cables are analog or digital and voice, data or video signals which are transported from one location to another in the form of modulated light guided through hair-thin fibres of glass.
“These signals can transport more information longer distances in less time than any copper wire or wireless.
“With this programme and the specialisation of this field, employment of many young people will be ensured.
“Technology has no limits and people are constantly using it, therefore maintaining its channels is highly essential.”