OTTC hosts first artisan’s round table

By Ilana Koegelenberg

The Open Trade Training Centre (OTTC) in Springs held its first Handwerker Stammtisch on 9 November 2017 to not only welcome back our WorldSkills competitor, but to give a platform for artisans to network.

Stam00 1The first OTTC Stammtisch industry collective and meeting of the minds took place in November.

A first of its kind, the director of OTTC, Isolde Döbelin, kicked off the event by explaining to the various artisans and industry role players what exactly a stammtisch is. A stammtisch (German for “regulars’ table”) is an informal group meeting held on a regular basis, and also the usually large, often round table around which the group meets. A stammtisch is not a structured meeting, but rather a friendly get-together.

“Today is about sharing,” said Döbelin. “The artisan works hard; he doesn’t want to run around on a golf course to network with his peers. They want to relax and get together in a way that is not as stiff and structured.” That is where she got the idea of hosting an artisan’s roundtable event, where artisans from all fields can come together and exchange experiences and advice.

Stam00 2Tyrone Bunce, WorldSkills competitor (left) with Isolde Döbelin, director of OTTC,
talking about the importance of skills.

As Tyrone Bunce, South Africa’s refrigeration and air-conditioning category candidate for WorldSkills, had recently returned from his exciting trip to Abu Dhabi to compete against 22 other countries, he was also given a moment to share some of his experiences. It was his first trip overseas and Bunce walked guests through the various requirements of the competition and what he had to do.

Afterwards, Bob Vuletic, national skills expert in this category who also accompanied Bunce to Abu Dhabi, said a few words about skills in general and how tough the competition was this year. He urged everyone to promote the development of skills in South Africa. “Without skills, we are not going anywhere,” said Vuletic. “At this rate, South Africa will have to import people to do our work for us — we need to start doing something. We don’t need just academics, we need hands!”

Stam00 3At the artisan’s roundtable event, from left: Jose Marques (Bitzer), Kurt Johannsen (OTTC), and Bob Vuletic (Multistage Cooling). 

After the OTTC staff was introduced, each saying a few words about their role at the training facility, it was time for the ‘networking and relaxing’ part, which happened over some true German food, including delicious eisbein platters.

OTTC hopes to host more of these events in future to promote skills development and encourage artisans in the HVAC&R industry.


 Click below to read the January/February 2018 issue of Cold Link Africa

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John Ackermann
Ilana Koegelenberg
Benjamin Brits
Paul Engelbrecht
Zeldalee Du Toit
Maxlee Marange
Timothy Sibuyi

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