The Zambia Metrology Agency (ZMA) has hailed the continued partnership between Ndola’s Northern Technical College (NORTEC) and Spruceland Technologies Group Limited in training professionals in weighbridge operation, certification and accreditation.
NORTEC and Spruceland earlier this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Ndola to conduct the first formal training in weighbridge operation, certification and accreditation.
Majority of weighbridge operators in Zambia acquired the skill via informal training famously known as job on training.
ZMA, which formerly operated as the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency (ZWMA), provides for the designation, keeping and maintenance of national measurement standards, the use of measurement units of the International System of Units and other units.
Speaking on the sidelines of the latest training, ZMA acting Director Eng. Darlington Chibwe said the agency was pleased that NORTEC and Spruceland are providing formal training to weighbridge operators.
Eng. Chibwe said professionally trained operators are adding value to the Weights and Measures sector in Zambia.
He pledged that ZMA will continue monitoring the training to ensure that ethics in weights and measures are followed.
“As a regulator of measurements ourselves the Zambia Metrology Agency, I think we see it very important that operators of weighbridges are trained on how to deal with issues surrounding measurements that are undertaken at weigh bridges. In the past weighbridges or other players in the sector were just employing people without formal training. They were just being taught how to read measurements without understanding principles surrounding the operation of weigh bridges so that in a way used to create problems where someone would be operating a weighbridge without even realizing that the weighbridge is out of specs or it has stopped working properly,” Eng. Chibwe said.
“By giving operators technical information they will be able to identify when a weighbridge is not working correctly. They will also be able to know what to do in terms of how to clean the weighbridges, how to maintain the weighbridge and how to prevent the weighbridge from developing unnecessary faults. These professionals will also be able to understand conditions under which they should use the weighbridge and when to use the weighbridge. How to allow the vehicles coming on the weighbridge in terms of speed and other requirements,” he said.
Spruceland Technologies Group Limited chief executive officer and founder Dingiswayo Phiri said plans are underway to roll out the training across the SADC region.
Mr. Phiri disclosed that so far 65 professionals have been trained locally and 12 others in DR Congo.
He said 12 technicians were trained at the Kibali gold mine located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We are happy to report that the number of students keeps on increasing and we are happy to report that companies are coming to the table and sending their teams to come and learn. Most importantly on this programme we have been able to see some people come through CDF bursaries that the government is promoting. That is a plus and we will take that avenue to see if we can have as many people come through CDF bursaries,” he said.
Mr. Phiri added:”So far we have trained about 65 people on three separate programmes and we trained one cohort in the DR Congo at Kibali Gold Mine. We hope that we can increase training in the SADC region. We are aware that other countries have been asking how we are running this programme. So we hope that this programme can roll out to the SADC region fully. We trained about twelve (12) technicians who were instantly promoted immediately we certified them. We are happy that really the partnership with NORTEC is increasing the value for this training.”