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Hammer School

What is Hammer School?

The Hammer School is a skills development initiative, driven by the Department of Public Works, that aims to make use of the experience and expertise of community members to create workshops and learning sessions for underprivileged individuals. The intention is that through providing workshop space, equipment and guidance, we believe we can provide a sense of hope and purpose to those who undertake the courses provided.

We will achieve this by providing a skills development and makerspace platform at AfrikaBurn’s Junction Road workyard, which is ideally suited to both practical and theoretical demonstrations of a variety of crafts and technical skills. Individuals will learn and share various skills during our workshops facilitated at the work yard and receive a certificate of completion after attending the workshops which could be presented to potential employers.

 

The Hammer School Vision

With the unemployment rate amongst youth in South Africa being consistently over 50%
since 1999, with the exception of 2008 and 2009, it has become a massive problem amongst our peers. Over the years, our DPW leads have noticed that the majority of our crew face unemployment before and after their time spent as DPW crew members for the AfrikaBurn event. This has a negative psycho-social impact on individuals, perpetuating feelings of hopelessness and lack of purpose during the ‘downtime’ period of their year.

We have found that many of these individuals have not had the opportunity to develop skills that could position them favourably in the job market or to start small enterprises.
Furthermore these individuals generally come from disadvantaged communities where
access to workshop space, equipment and guidance is far and few between.

Our aim is thus to expand on AfrikaBurns’ principles of Civic Responsibility, Communal Effort, Gifting , Each One Teach One and Radical Inclusion and through these, create a framework within which skills transfer and empowerment can be furthered. In line with AfrikaBurn’s social development aims, the aim is to to build partnerships with organisations and individuals that have skills and resources that can help the Hammer School. In doing so we will continue to promote diversity within AfrikaBurn and assist disadvantaged individuals.

It is our civic responsibility as a branch of an organisation that promotes Radical Inclusion, to use our available resources to radically include, and positively impact the lives of community members from all walks of life. Through the guidance of these principles – gifting of time, resources and knowledge and imparting skills (teaching) we hope to enable community members to reach a point of their own Radical Self-Reliance.

More information on the unemployment amongst youth in S.A. can be found here:

Youth Graduate Unemployment Rate (Stats SA)
Insight Newsletter (GCIS)
Youth Unemployment Rate South Africa (Statista)

Training And Coursework

The Hammer School will provide three different styles of training:

1. Formal training – provided by Afrikaburn for selected DPW crew members.
    a. This training will include our licensing that needs to be done eg. forklift; crane
        operators and appropriate drivers licenses.
    b. It will also include other training, dealing with the human aspect including
        counselling, harm reduction etc.
    c. Safety Training, First aid, H&S etc.

2. Informal training
    a. Including in-house training by different departments, eg. fire training by
        Enviro Wildfire, Makita tool training etc.
    b. Informal skills transfer that would occur naturally within the makerspace.
        This is not organised.

3. Workshops/Courses – These frameworks will all consist of theoretical work followed
     by practical work in the work yard.
     a. Foundations of trade skills – this course will touch on basic principles of each
         of the below trades and skills. The aim of this course would be to introduce
         the individual to different trades in order for them to be able to decide which
         trade/skill best resonates with them.
            i. Introduction to Metalwork
            ii. Introduction to Carpentry
            iii. Introduction to Plumbing
            iv. Introduction to Electrics
            v. Introduction to Administrative and computing skills

After completing the Foundations of trade skills course the individuals can then sign
up for any of the below courses:
           b. Basic Metalwork – This course will provide a basic understanding of the
               principles of metalwork as outlined by the selected framework working
               group.
           c. Basic Carpentry – This course will provide a basic understanding of the
               principles of carpentry as outlined by the selected framework working group.
          d. Basic Plumbing – This course will provide a basic understanding of the
               principles of plumbing as outlined by the selected framework working group.
          e. Basic Electrical – This course will provide a basic understanding of the
              principles of electronics as outlined by the selected framework working
              group.
          f. Basic Administrative and Computing Skills – This course will provide a basic
              understanding of administration and computing skills. There will be an
              element of life skills to this course, it will teach the individual skills such as
              opening an email account, writing a CV and applying for jobs, interview skills,
              budgeting and very basic business principles etc.

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