World Class Diamond and Jewellery Academy to be Launched

The Northern Cape Diamond Strategy is a mineral beneficiation strategy aimed at diversifying the Northern Cape Provincial economy from a primary sector focus towards secondary value addition activities that will maximise benefit from the diamond pipeline and position the Province to fulfil its socio-economic responsibilities by; amongst others, achieving human capital development, industry and infrastructure development, employment creation as well as entrepreneurial opportunities.
>>Speech Premier Hazel Jenkins - KIDJA 04 November 2011

The aim of the strategy is to establish Kimberley as a Centre of Excellence within the SADC and international industry for Diamond cutting & polishing and Jewellery manufacturing. Contained in this Strategy are six priority elements of which the Kimberley International Diamond and Jewellery Academy is one.

The Academy was established with the aim of providing an industry-based facility for the development, up grading and transfer of skills within the SADC and international diamond and jewellery sector that will lead to a more competitive and profitable diamond and jewellery sector.

In meeting this aim, the Academy will pursue the following objectives:

* Respond to skill demands and development opportunities within the diamond and jewellery sector in a rapid and strategic manner and engage pro actively with the sector to anticipate skills needs.
* Provide a mechanism for employers within the diamond and jewellery sector to formulate skill development strategies that lead to higher levels of competitiveness within national, regional and international markets
* Provide accredited courses that are recognized by the South African government (national and provincial) and sought after by industry with potential international accreditation.
* Promote the empowerment of previously disadvantaged workers in the industry, including new entrants to the industry, through skill development programmes
* Become an integral part of the Diamond Centre of Excellence through the promotion and development of skills as a critical component to firm competitiveness
* Operate in a professional and business-like manner.
* Become financially and technically self-sustaining within five years of establishment.

 The academy will focus its training on four core target groups, namely entry level students, workers already employed within the diamond and jewellery sectors, SMME owner-managers and diamond cutting and polishing trainers. New entrants are introduced to a broad, multi-faceted approach to the industry, while current workers will be able to update their skills in response to new market demands and technologies. Specific courses will also concentrate on the skills levels and demands within the emerging SMME sector, while specialised courses will address the shortage of experienced and qualified cutters and polishers.

The Kimberley International Diamond and Jewellery Academy commenced its fist MQA learnership programme in February 2011 with a first intake of fifty students, including students from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The Academy (KIDJA) will be launched on Friday, 4 November.

For more information, kindly contact Ms M Barlow on 053 8394075 or 082 3122 465

Issued by : Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape , Kimberley

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