Ikaya Fundisa Techniskills Academy (IFTA), the black-owned artisan training company bought for R20 million in 2008, is to change its name to Artisan Training Institute (ATI).
This was confirmed by Mandisa Nyathikazi, a director of IFTA, who said that management had spent the last five years refurbishing the academy – and “fine-tuning the level of quality standards and client services delivery” to customers, adding that the time had come to recognize this “quantum shift” with the rebranding of the company.
In 2008 two entrepreneurs – Sean Jones and Mandisa Nyathikazi – invested in excess of R20 million in buying and refurbishing IFTA after receiving a bank loan from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
IFTA, which will complete the rebranding – and name change – by the end of September, is focused on training artisans in a wide range of engineering-focused skills, including fitters and turners, rigging, tool jig and dye makers, electricians, millwrights, welders, boilermakers, sheet metal workers, petrol and diesel mechanics, tractor mechanics, forklift mechanics, auto electricians and earth moving equipment mechanics.
Since the R20 million acquisition management has opened two additional training centres in Port Shepstone (Kwa-Zulu Natal), and Crown Mines in Johannesburg. An additional facility has been approved for development in Kuruman in the Northern Cape which will be built during the next 24-36 months.
The company has also further cemented training contracts with a number of leading companies focused on the heavy industry and mining industries – including John Deere and Lonmin – and is expected to commence with a R80 million training contract with Assmang in 2013.
IFTA (ATI) is also in discussions with another big mining group which is looking to outsource its training requirements. The contract, according to Nyathikazi, is expected to be “substantial”.
The company, a BEE level 3 contributor and a Category A beneficiary, is regarded as one of only a handful of privately owned training institutions focusing on training artisans – including previously disadvantaged individuals – in the entire engineering training spectrum.
Gauteng Business News