The Saldanha Bay Smart Skills Centre is up and running!

First group of learners go through the CHIETA Smart Skills Centre

The next evolution for opportunities when it comes to jobs is to be available in the tech space. Many of the youth are not enabled to have access to these skills. Through our recently launched SMART Skills Centre, in partnership with CHIETA, unemployed youth in Saldanha Bay and surrounding areas are now provided with various online learning platforms offered through the Smart Skills Centre. The Smart Skills Centre aims to bridge the digital skills divide between urban and rural communities by providing access to the internet and digital skills training. Our Smart Skills Centre in Saldanha Bay consists of:

  • Virtual Reality Booths for virtual reality and related courses
  • State of the art computers capable of 3D printing, robotics and digital skills such as coding
  • A smart boardroom
  • A state of the art welding simulator

Current programmes include:

  • 4IR Upskilling – The Centre secured a NQF Level 5 training programme in 4IR Upskilling consisting of AWS & Data Analysis and Cloud Data Administration.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Courses – Low Voltage Rescue, Fall Protection Training, Hazard Recognition Training, CPR Training, Fire Extinguisher Training.
  • Digital Skills Courseware- Imterner of Things (IoT) – Introduction to IoT, Big Data and Analytics, Connecting Things (Intermediate), Hackathon, JavaScript Essentials, Python Essentials, C++ Essentials.
  • Smart Skills School Programme – In collaboration with school Principals and teachers, and the AMSA Science Centre we are in the process of designing a number of programmes that will attract local school children to the center for interventions in digital literacy awareness, career awareness, ICT training and industry exposure via virtual reality.

The Centre has recently acquired a new welding simulator, sponsored by CHIETA. This important piece of equipment enables 100% eco-friendly green welding and “augment” learners own custom pieces with Augmented Reality. Training service providers and technical schools in Saldanha Bay will have free access to the machine to train learners undergoing welding training. Interested welding instructors can contact Patrick Lakabane at

CHIETA has been an important part in Freeport Saldanha’s skills development, training and community engagement – the partnership has been in existence since 2015, with CHIETA having supported several development programmes, apprenticeships, learnerships and skills programmes in Saldanha Bay through Freeport Saldanha’s Development Programmes. It is for this reason that the Freeport Saldanha values this important partnership.

The Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA) estimates that a minimum of 10 000 unemployed youth will benefit from the SMART Skills Centre over the next five years. CHIETA’s goal is to have one of these SMART Skills Centre’s in every province by 2025.

First students at the Smart Skills Centre in Saldanha Bay
Virtual Reality programmes will be offered at the Smart Skills Centre

If you are ever in Saldanha Bay, do check out our Smart Skills Centre at 27 Main Road, Saldanha Bay. Out team will be happy to give you a tour of the facilities.


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