BMW April 2022

In my final contribution about training, published in the Automotive Refinisher, I want to leave all the owners of body shops with a model which (I reckon), might present the possibility to overcome all the external pressures put on your shop, by the insurance, OEM’s, approvals, and last but not least BBBEE.

“Training in the Collision Repair Industry,” is very relevant to the model and might clarify misconceptions associated with training, also be to the advantage of the employees as well as to the profitability of the body shop.

What is the current situation, with regards to trained and potentially trained employees, in the ABR Industry?

Mibco Statistics: May 2021 (Number of employees involved in the Industry).

Automotive Body Repairers: 1278

Spraypainters: 772

Apprentices ABR: 256

Apprentice Spraypainters: 210

When formulating the industry training problem, one sees the shortage of qualified artisans in both trades, as well as the lack of interest in becoming a potential artisan in the automotive body repair industry!

When comparing the number of artisans with the number of establishments involved in the industry. You being to understand the serious shortage of skilled and qualified artisans and the implications it has on the technologically advanced vehicles that have to be repaired.

What is the ideal situation?

Every establishment involved in the automotive body repair industry should have sufficiently trained and skilled employees to ensure, not only the quality of the repair, but also the profitability.

Body shops should undertake a big effort to ensure the future of the industry by taking in apprentices. With the necessary contingency-plan in place, the sustainability of a trade in the ABR industry will be ensured.

Work Integrated Learning should form the basis of all skills training for all grades of employees in the ABR Industry. Skills programmes that lead to credits on the NQF also ensure career development for all employees in the body shop:

Mibco Statistics: May 2021 (involved in the Industry):

General workers: 5949

Body Shop Assistants: 1629

B/A Journeyman: 115

Is there an easy way out?

“If it rains lemons, make lemonade,” says the old adage.

Put your employees through Accredited Skills Programmes presented by an accredited Skills Development Provider and then claim your mandatory monies back from the Merseta.


A General Worker can be put on a skills programme, preparing him/her to perform the Mibco Job descriptions for the next grade (Body Shop Assistant Grade 5), thus enhancing the employee’s career.

The same can be done with the Grade 5 Body Shop Assistants, preparing/coaching/developing such an employee to become a B/A Journeyman (Grade 7). Eventually with three years of work experience, and being a SA Citizen older than 19 years, an employee in our Industry qualifies for the ARPL Assessment and can become a qualified artisan.

What will it cost the company?

The application for year 22 Discretionary Grants for an apprentice has been increased to R 206 290 and is paid in tranches.

A Merseta-registered apprentice who has a CBMT-number, qualifies for R50 000 tax-rebate per year.

The Grant for an ARPL candidate to complete a Trade Qualification has increased to : R50 420.

Skills Programmes: Depending on the number of credits in the skills programme, R385 is paid per credit.

Utilising the “In-house Training Module”: is in line with what Sir Richard Branson once said: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”

Feel free to contact me at  082 414 5557/012 379 8684 or send an e-mail to

Groetnis, Oom Frik


by Frik Botha