In order to fill up the lack of certified welders in Madagascar and to meet the company’s needs, Ambatovy set up a specific training program to train Malagasy employees according to international standards. “The job of a welder requires very specific skills and qualifications,” said Menja Rakotonirina, Mechanical and Lifting Training Coordinator at the Ambatovy Training Center. “Ambatovy’s welder training program allows the company to have the technicians required for the operations, and to develop highly skilled national workers. As a reminder, during the construction of the pipeline, Ambatovy had to bring in hundreds of foreign skilled welders due to the lack of local competencies.”
Ambatovy’s welder training program complies with international standards and provides national welders with the same level and quality of training they can receive abroad. To date, 37 national employees have been training and qualified as certified welders with different specializations.
At Ambatovy, apprentice welders must undergo a three-month basic training course before going to the field to gain experience. Then, they can apply for certification for specific welding tasks with the certification body. “Training welders is one of the most costly training programs due to the high cost of welding equipment and consumables,” said Menja Rakotonirina.
The certification of welders is very expensive, but is necessary to comply with international standards. Certification, once obtained, must be renewed every two years by an independent body.