Certificates were awarded yesterday to eleven artisans who have completed a Handicraft Training Course on Advanced Craftskills for Artisans at SME Mauritius Ltd in Port Louis. The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Director of the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD), Mr Pradeep Kumar Joosery, and other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted Government’s commitment to upskill artisans of the handicraft sector since they play a crucial role in transmitting artistically the Mauritian culture to the tourists and hence contribute hugely to enriching the cultural heritage of the country. Through this training programme, he underlined, artisans have been exposed to new techniques which will enable them to come up with more innovative and value-added products that are in line with current market trends. The constant innovation in this sector is essentially important so as to boost the local handicraft sector, he added.
Mr Bholah recalled the various facilities that are being provided to cater to the needs of artisans. They comprise: setting up of the Handicraft Training Academy; creation of the Creative Mauritius website to increase the visibility of craftsmen; and the launching of the E-Commerce service of the tax free shopping digital portal to promote and showcase products of Tax Free shopping operators and handicrafts operators of the Creative Mauritius on a 24/7-hour basis.
Other initiatives include: the amendment of the Commodities Regulation 1981 with a view to ensuring that all products mandatorily display their country of origin so that consumers can make an informed choice when making a purchase; and the introduction of a hologram to be affixed on all locally made handicraft products by SME Mauritius Ltd.
For his part, Mr Joosery underscored that the course has been tailored for local artisans to further develop their capacities and explore their potential so as they can better enhance their artisanal products. He further pointed out that the training has enabled local artisans to be equipped with necessary tools to improve their crafting skills and promote this key sector in Mauritius.
Advanced Craftskills Course
The course, an initiative of the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, the SME Mauritius Ltd and the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, spanned over a period of six months and has been dispensed free of charge to local artisans.
It comprised of different handicraft fields. Techniques were designed to give the artisans exposure to new know-how from drawing techniques, painting, quilling, embroidery, engraving and jewellery making to applications of ICT and packaging techniques.
Source: Government of Mauritius