The Toolkit iSkills is a social enterprise that focuses on skilling vulnerable youth in Africa, so that they can have a top notch skill in key sectors that would give them access to jobs, especially in renewable energy, construction sector, organic farming and digitisation.
According to the Director of Toolkit iSkills Jane Muigai - KAMPHUIS, the enterprise looks at attracting vulnerable youth to technical skills that will enable them access jobs in their countries or elsewhere on the continent.
In 2021, Toolkit iSkills partnered with Dig In Vision, the inventors of the Welding Simulation Technology. This is the latest technology in the world, in terms of accessing skills and competencies, that previously was impossible to imagine.
Toolkit iSkills introduced the technology to training institutions, to certifiers and to vulnerable youths in Kenya. Since then, the enterprise has rolled the technology out to Uganda and it has been able to train government certifiers and assessors, who are going to be assessing welding as a skill across the country.
This technology is also a big saver in terms of health and safety. Director Muigai points out that one of the biggest problems with welding in East Africa and elsewhere on the continent, is the expensive cost of the protective gear. Because of that cost, a lot of youths are exposed because of either using substandard or no safety gear in welding. With this technology, since it’s a computer simulated technology, it eliminates the issues of safety. So it cuts on the cost of healthy and safety materials, but really it’s saving on the welders eyesight and skin.
The Company Dig In Vision, of which the Director, the Founder and C.E.O. is Radosław GAŁKA, provides professional welders, electricians and masons, to different European Union countries like France, Germany, Romania, Poland Netherlands and Belgium.
Dig In Vision company invented and fully developed in Poland, a Virtual Reality Live Welding Simulator. The purpose of the project was to find a way to simulate real welding into a Virtual Reality.
The Virtual Reality Live Welding Simulator, provides training for MIG welding. It trains and teaches the young trainees on how to set up the welding machine, and they can reset it as many times as they want. Most importantly, it trains muscle memory, by repeating several times during the day, because it costs nothing. All that the trainee needs is to just re-click and reset the virtual sample, and train his/her velocity, level and trajectory, parameters which are the most important for good welding.
This technology, according to the Director Gałka, brings quite a lot of benefits for training centers, because it’s a very mobile solution, so someone can conduct training at any place, and can even start training people who never thought of becoming welders.
Director Muigai mentions the importance of the technology by saying that this simulated technology is saving, first of all on time. They can now train a MIG Welder in three months. 80% of the training is done in Virtual Reality and the only 20% of the training is done in workshops.
For the Dig In Vision technology to make an impact on youths in Africa, Muigai refers to three elements:
- Look at the trainers and instructors - the Toolkit iSkills is taking this technology to training institutions and training instructors.
- Look at the assessors or certifiers - the Toolkit iSkills is exposing this technology to the certification and assessment bodies.
- The most important element is exposing the technology to the youth who need to learn welding as a skill.
So for the Toolkit iSkills, any time they work with technology, they look at the entire ecosystem, by looking end to end. The youth can acquire the skill with the technology, but their instructor must also acquire the ability to instruct that youth, and impact many other youths.
The use of technology is going to be changing the game for African youths. With the use of technology, Toolkit iSkills is able to bring the latest qualifications right at the door of vulnerable youth, within vocational training centers that are within their communities, within technical and vocational training institutions. Because of the ease of this technology, it can easily be set up in a small community hall and be able to train a MIG welder.
According to Muigai, this technology is going to be a very big deal for Africa because, if they can train a MIG welder or a solar technician or any other trade at the same rate or at the same level as a youth is trained in North America or Europe, it also means that, that skilled youth gets labor mobility across the world.
SOURCE: Toolkit iSkills – www.toolkitiskills.com