Narrowtex’ Learnership and Apprenticeship Programs

Narrowtex' Learnership and Apprenticeship Programs

Every year, we prioritize empowering individuals, whether they’re currently employed or seeking employment, by offering a range of training programs. These programs include Bursaries, Learnerships, Apprenticeships, Internships, and Work-Integrated learning opportunities. Our goal is to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields.

For employed and unemployed graduate students, we provide various bursaries to support their academic pursuits. Additionally, our Learnership program offers a comprehensive learning experience that combines theoretical classroom training with practical on-the-job learning. By working alongside experienced mentors, participants gain valuable insights into their chosen profession, enhancing their employability and contributing to a skilled workforce.

Narrowtex learnership and apprenticeship

Similarly, our Apprenticeship program focuses on hands-on training, allowing participants to develop specialized skills in specific trades. Through a combination of practical training and theoretical instruction, apprentices gain in-depth knowledge, paving the way for successful careers as narrow weaving technicians. After completing the theory and practical training the apprentice will be assessed by NAMB (National Artisans Moderator Body) for certification.

Furthermore, we provide graduate interns with valuable workplace experience, and occasionally collaborate with TVET Colleges to offer work experience placements to their students.

We believe that investing in the growth and development of individuals, regardless of their employment status and especially in Estcourt, where we are situated, is crucial for personal and economic advancement. Our aim is to empower individuals to reach their full potential and contribute to the overall prosperity of our community.

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Ukuthula Creche Food Voucher Feeding Scheme

Ukuthula Creche Food Voucher Feeding Scheme

We are thrilled to have been able to extend our support to Ukuthula Creche and their food voucher feeding initiative.

We understand the significance of early childhood nutrition and its impact on a child’s overall development, including their physical, cognitive, and emotional growth. By providing proper nutrition during this crucial time in a child’s life, we can ensure that they receive the necessary nutrients to support their rapidly developing bodies and brains.

We are committed to doing more and encourage others to join us in supporting initiatives that benefit the well-being of children. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

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On to Phase 2 of our solar energy journey!

Phase 2 of our Solar Energy Project is underway!

At Narrowtex, we strive to operate sustainably, and the first phase of our Solar PV plant resulted in significant energy savings.  Our solar panel generated energy powers 50% of our operations even after recent expansions. 

Whilst various other initiatives have allowed us to become grid power independent, our self-sufficiency and sustainability objective is to increase our solar-generated energy. 

Phase 2 of this project is underway, and we look forward to sharing more updates about our journey with you soon. So, watch this space!

Our sustainability journey

When we know better, we do better – Narrowtex’s sustainability journey

In this article, originally posted on Mail & Guardian, Narrowtex Production Manager Michael Stander takes the time to reflect on our sustainability journey.

Established South African textile company Narrowtex initially reduced the energy consumption at its Estcourt plant by 157 732 Kilowatt hours (kWh) with an overall investment of about R80 000. It subsequently went on to install the first phase of its Solar PV plant, all through the technical support of the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA). 

In 2019 Narrowtex began its sustainability journey with the dual objective of reducing its carbon equivalent emissions and becoming less reliant on grid power. Narrowtex underwent an energy assessment and almost immediately implemented the quick-win items, which resulted in significant energy savings. 

Production Manager Michael Stander takes the time to reflect on the company’s journey.  “In today’s fast-moving and ever-changing production environment all manufacturing facilities locally and abroad are looking at sustainability and ‘doing things better’ for the environment and to assist the bottom line.

“I was first introduced to the concept of resource efficiency under the guidance of Andre Page, Project Manager NCPC-SA, in Cape Town, and quickly realised the importance of all South African production plants being able to identify their ‘waste streams’. Equally critical is being able to understand the plant’s energy usage and quantify its consumption, to enable them to produce smarter and reduce energy costs,” says Stander. 

When I started at Narrowtex, a company that produces narrow woven textiles, one of my first objectives was to identify and quantify the energy consumption of the facility. We engaged with NCPC-SA KZN Project Manager Milisha Pillay and under the auspices of the Industrial Energy Efficiency Project received fully subsidised assistance in the form of an energy assessment. 

“We then went on to implement eight energy efficiency improvements as recommended, which slightly reduced our baseload consumption, and through the NCPC-SA went on to investigate the feasibility of a Solar PV system to become more self-sufficient and further reduce our operating costs,” Stander continues.

“The projects that were implemented included the reduction of standing losses on machinery through improved insulation, installing geyser timers as well as motion sensors in locker rooms and a LED lighting retrofit programme.

“The payback period for the renewable energy project became more attractive once the energy efficiency improvements were made, and Narrowtex General Manager Chris Fell decided to commission the first phase of the Solar PV plant in March 2021.  

“The installed Solar PV system is showing great returns so far. The company has consumed approximately 21.5% less electricity, based on the August 2019 year to date figure. We are still working on changing behavioural patterns (related to electricity use) and shift patterns within the plant to maximise the benefit from the system.

“Phase 2 is planned for the near future and will result in us being able to generate enough electricity to meet approximately 60% of the facility’s current daytime energy requirements. The final phase of the installation should take us up to 80% off-grid during daytime operating hours,” says Stander.

“As Narrowtex Group we are very pleased with the outcome achieved by engaging with the NCPC-SA, not only for our Energy Efficiency and Solar PV Projects, but also for the next steps in our low carbon journey and to continue our commitment to operate in the best and most environmentally-friendly way possible. 

“People’s involvement in this journey is critical, as management cannot do it alone as  — you must have the understanding and buy-in from all employees within the organisation if you want to succeed,” Stander concludes.

The NCPC-SA is available to advise and support your company on its sustainability journey.  To get more information visit: www.ncpc.co.za or email: ncpc@csir.co.za to start the journey today.

Narrowing the gap

Narrowing the gap: manufacturer sees scope for UK growth

Q&A with Packaging Scotland

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In a recent interview with Packaging Scotland, Narrowtex General Manager, Chris Fell, discussed some of our future plans and prospects.  Read the full article below:

South African-headquartered Narrowtex is looking to grow its presence in the UK market through the company’s selection of narrow fabrics. Chris Fell, general manager, Narrowtex, recently told Packaging Scotland about standing out in a competitive market, the potential for growth, and new product innovations.

Q) What’s the history of the business and how has it grown over the years? 

A) Narrowtex was established in 1969. We manufacture a large range of quality narrow fabrics including industrial webbing, seatbelt webbing, curtain header tape, and our core range of lashing and strapping.

With over 50 years of experience, technical expertise and premium quality standards, we have developed into a reputable and trusted business partner offering manufacturing excellence to local and international markets. We are a member of the NTX Group, a subsidiary of SA Bias Industries Pty Ltd. Over the years Narrowtex has achieved continued growth, especially in the international market where we are supplying to five different continents. We expect this growth trend to continue into the future.

Q) What can you tell us about your lashing and strapping range, and how do these products stand out in a competitive market?

A) Our quality lashing and strapping range includes woven polyester lashing and strapping, composite/cord strapping, and bonded/hot melt strapping. We have over 25 years of experience exporting our range and are well established in the international market. Our superior quality control measures and supporting accreditations especially stand out in the market. Our accreditations for the range include ISO9001, AAR (Association of American Railways) and DNV.GL certifications.  Our seatbelt webbing range is IATF16949-certified and is testament to the standard of our quality control in our in-house laboratory.

Certificates of Conformance from our in-house laboratory can be provided with each batch of product supplied. We have also established an Environmental Management System that is in conformance with the ISO 14001:2015 International Environmental Management System.

Our high quality, ability to provide innovative solutions and our custom printing and dyeing facilities makes us an attractive option for importers internationally including the UK.

Q) How much potential do you see for increasing your presence in the UK market? What are your plans for growing the business in the UK?

A) We currently see a lot of potential to grow our offering into the UK with our large range of high quality narrow fabrics. Our plans include follow up face-to-face visits with prospective customers looking to import our products into the UK.

We will continue to market our range through the various mediums available along with participation in upcoming trade exhibitions in the UK. South Africa and the UK have a long-established trading history with good trade relations and trade agreements in place.  Narrowtex’ s close proximity to a major seaport (Durban) gives good access to the shipping routes from South Africa to all of the main UK ports. The combination of these factors makes Narrowtex an excellent high quality and cost-effective supply option for UK importers.

Q) What have been some of the most memorable projects you’ve been involved in?

A) We enjoy working in tandem with prospective customers to develop innovative solutions to their challenges. Our most memorable and satisfying projects involve providing customised solutions to customer requirements. Working closely with customers to understand their requirements, developing solutions to meet these requirements and then supplying product accordingly, provides great satisfaction to the Narrowtex team.

Q) Anything you can tell us about future product innovations? Are environmental considerations becoming more prominent?

A) We are constantly developing new product and more efficient and innovative manufacturing processes in our factory. As the market changes and our customers’ needs change, we work closely with our customer base to re-engineer current product ranges and develop new ranges to meet customer requirements.

Environmental and social responsibilities are key in our development as a company and group at large. We participate in a number of community development projects including a creche to care for children in need. We work closely with the education department to assist newly qualified individuals to gain valuable work experience with our learnership programmes and provide bursaries for students in need.

Our environmental management system is in conformance to the ISO14001:2015 system, but this is certainly not where our efforts stop. In March this year, we completed the first phase of our solar energy project, aimed at increasing our level of self-sufficiency in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

We now produce more than 33% of our energy requirements and the intention is that we will expand on this into the future. Rainwater tanks have been installed to reduce our water consumption and recycling of waste is of extreme importance to us. A number of other projects aimed at reducing our carbon footprint are also currently under consideration.

Link to the original article: Narrowing the gap: manufacturer sees scope for UK growth | Packaging Scotland

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Narrowtex Solar Energy Project

NARROWTEX COMPLETES THE FIRST PHASE OF OUR SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT

REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

On 23 March 2021, we completed phase 1 of our solar energy project. This project was explored to become more self-sufficient, save on electricity and continue our commitment to operate in the best and most environmentally friendly way, possible.

This video shares footage of our new solar panels. By installing these solar panels, we are now producing 220 kilowatts of energy on-site, which is more than 33% of the energy required for our operations.

Visit the solar energy project page.

  • AAR Certificate decal
  • Narrowtex is AAR (Association of American Railroads) certified for selected lashing and composite strapping products for open-top loading requirements.

  • ISO 14001 CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • We have established an Environmental Management System that is in conformance with the  ISO 14001:2015 International Environmental Management System.

  • ISO 9001 CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • We have established a quality management system that is in conformance with the ISO 9001:2015 International Quality System Standard.

  • DNV.GL CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • Narrowtex holds DNV – Germanischer Lloyd certification for specified lashing and composite strapping products.

  • IATF 16949 CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • Narrowtex seatbelt webbing is manufactured in accordance with the IATF 16949:2016 quality system.

  • Narrowtex in-house lab tested
  • The Narrowtex production facility’s up to date laboratory is used for continuous testing at different stages of production, ensuring our consistent delivery of superior products.