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As  this is my last article for Automotive Refinisher for 2020, I want to wish you all a well-deserved rest, a real Christmas feast and much better economic growth and possibilities for 2021.

I am bringing you some good news before the end of an interesting and challenging 2020. The Department for Higher Education and Training has revised the grant amount for apprenticeship training for 2021.  The revised amount per new artisan apprentice enrolled is now R206 290. It used to be approximately R167 000, so that’s an increase of R39 290 per learner. This means that if you employ two apprentices, you will receive over R400 000 into your bank account to pay your learners and train them well. There are huge tax and BEE benefits involved too.

IT-C now have a dedicated person to help you with all of your paperwork and progress on your apprentices – you don’t even have to worry about the administration. We will take care of this for you from start to finish! Let’s start helping generate more income for our body shops and training at the same time. It’s definitely a win-win situation for all involved.

In 2021, please apply for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) grant to cover the costs for a panel beater, spray painter or vehicle damage quantifier. This grant includes pre-assessment, gap training and trade testing (where applicable).

The Legacy Qualifications for panel beating and spray painting will be ending in 2023 (CBMT Courses). The revised grant amount includes both trades. I am still of the opinion that the organised profession (CRA and SAMBRA) should revisit the idea of implementing the newly developed qualifications for panel beaters and spray painters. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just upgrade and improve on something that has been tried and tested for many years?”

Please make sure that the Company’s SDF (primary and secondary) is registered on the NSDMS.  Also ensure that the Company’s Workplace Approval has been activated on the NSDMS for both trades.

The first 12 Vehicle Damage Quantifier candidates have completed their training at IT-C.  They received access to the EISA with a SOR being issued to each one and will hopefully complete the Final Summative Assessment early in 2021.  Currently they are at Santam and Telesure to complete their internships.

Potential RPL-VDQ candidates for 2021, estimators for body shops and assessors of Insurance companies, that would like to attain this qualification, should contact me or the IT-C office directly so that the necessary application documentation can be sent to you. This qualification was developed after much initial investigative work. It was decided to focus on the United States, England and Australia because of the availability of information and international comparability.

For the approval programme of the OEM’s, or to be on an Insurance panel, the body shop has to employ a qualified panel beater and a qualified spray painter. Nobody worries about if the body shop has a qualified estimator. I am of the opinion that a quality repair process starts with the compilation of the quote, and therefore the VDQ qualification is of vital importance.

Feel free to give me a call on (012) 379 8684 or drop me a mail at:  info@it-c.co.za

Groetnis, Oom Frik.