Mantrac Ghana Limited has awarded 86 young Ghanaians Foundational Certification under Caterpillar’s Technicians for Africa Project.
The 3 to 6-month course is a free online programme fully sponsored by Caterpillar – the global leader in construction, mining, oil and gas equipment – and facilitated by its authorised dealer, Mantrac.
The programme was launched in Ghana in November 2016, and so far about 287 people have benefitted from the initiative. The course is open to students from the technical universities and related institutions, and apprentices and individuals in the engineering field who either want to sharpen their skills or get certification for further studies.
Caterpillar together with Mantrac, through the Technicians for Africa Project, seeks to train highly-valued service technicians in the heavy equipment industry for career opportunities in that sector.
Steven Scott – Managing Director of Mantrac Ghana Limited, at the graduation ceremony for the fourth batch of students at Ewusiejoe near Takoradi, commended the participants for their tenacity in completing the course. This was because out of over 30,000 people who registered for the online programme, only seven percent were able to complete it.
He said the skills acquired through the training will give a head-start to those who will be looking for and those already doing their own jobs.
“For people looking for jobs with Mantrac, it is great opportunity. It will also help engineers out in the field who work with some, or all, of our customers have a better understanding of the correct way to look after the equipment and help extend its life,” Mr. Scott said.
He said strict adherence to health and safety rules is critical in all spheres of business, especially for those who work on heavy machinery, and reminded the students to abide by them always. “Follow correct procedures. On dangerous tasks, take full risk assessment before you start to make sure they are approached in a proper and a safe way,” he advised.
He said though Mantrac is a technical business, opportunities also exist for non-engineers in the area of sales and marketing. He emphasised, however, that having technical knowledge and experience will be an added advantage, since it will help you understand the equipment. “I am not an engineer. I started my training in the early days working on machines. It gave me a good background, so when I am working in our business I understand the issues and complexities involved,” Mr. Scott noted.
Gertrude Antena, a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, was the only female student to completed the three-month course. She said Caterpillar’s Technicians for Africa Project is helping her greatly in her academic work. “We do a lot of courses that involve machine parts such as engines and others. After going through the programme, I realised that when I go to lectures and the lecturer is teaching I find it easier to follow along,” she narrated.
Another participant, Michael Mensah, has been working with the Ghana Manganese Company Limited (GMC) since 2010. He disclosed: “The training will enhance my servicing duties henceforth. We do some minor components-rebuilding at GMC. Handling the machines in a manner that will not damage them during the assembling process is a skill that will be helpful to me in my workplace”.
It is expected that the 86 students, together with those who have already benefitted from the programme, will become good ambassadors for Mantrac and Caterpillar and spread the good news for others to sign onto the Technicians for Africa Project and get trained to become highly-skilled service technicians for Africa and the rest of the world.