The National Heritage Project has a mentorship programme which aims to train and develop the experience of striving unskilled artisans.
This programme is staggered over the total period of 12 months and is divided into 3 tiers of expertise, namely:
This level is aimed at unskilled individuals who display an interest in this field of work. Participants are mentored as artisans and tradespeople by the foundries and professional artists. Skills could include welding, foundry work, basic material and equipment techniques, factory and industrial practice etc. for a period of 4 months.
This level is aimed at aspirant artists who are not yet in a position to sustain themselves as professional artists. Participants are mentored by professional artists commissioned to complete life-size bronze figures in skills such as basic sculptural techniques, methods and materials, anatomy, bronze casting etc. over a period of 3 – 4 months .
An agreement between the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the National Heritage Project Company states that the TUT Sculpture Department in the Department of Fine Arts will include the making of life-size bronze figures for the National Heritage Monument as part of the 3rd Year Curriculum. This initiative was formally launched in April 2016.
Currently, fourteen 3rd Year Fine-Arts Students are currently part of the programme, and are working to create Bronze figures of the following individuals:
In conclusion, participants in this programme will be able to use their new experience and skills to further continue working on the NHM project into the future or work in the commercial industry, individually.