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'Qualified artisans are scarce'

WC Economic Development has launched an artisan development programme.

Western Cape Economic MEC Alan Winde.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Economic Development MEC Alan Winde says there is a critical shortage of artisans in the province.

Winde launched an artisan development programme where 200 young people are set to be part of an apprenticeship aimed at addressing the shortage.

He said over the past few years qualified artisans have become scarce.

"There's a 30,000 shortfall of artisans in South Africa and we will make sure, in the Western Cape, that we more than play our part in getting the opportunity for these young people to be skilled in electrical engineering or wherever there is a shortfall of."

The MEC said that his department is putting special focus on certain critical industries in the province.

"We will be focusing on the oil and gas industry."