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Since my last article in the Automotive Refinisher many colleagues phoned or sent me e-mails enquiring about the development and changes in the Automotive Body Repair Industry. 

In this article I’ll try to answer the most frequently asked questions about training and helping an employee to get qualified. 

Q  Why is it so necessary to register a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) on the NSDMS? 

A  In Future the SDF of the company will have access to the NSDMS to apply for Mandatory and Discretionary Grants. The SDF will complete the WSP and ATR of the company and register new apprentices on the system. In other words: the SDF becomes and administrator, handling all training matters of the company. 

Q  What if the company uses an outside firm to handle all the previously mentioned matters? 

A  I am of the opinion that to keep track of any development with regards to grants, apprentice registration and In-House Training a “Secondary Skills Development Facilitator” is a necessity. It can save you a lot of time and frustration if the company also has access to the National Skills Development Management System and is aware of any developments on the system. Therefore the service provider of the Company has to register a secondary SDF. 

Q  Is it necessary to apply for workplace approval if the company wants to train apprentices? 

A  Yes, this is also the task of the SDF of the company, to ensure workplace approval by the Merseta. 

Q  Is the tax rebate of R40 000 per year available to all apprentices? 

A  Yes, but only if the apprentice is registered on the Merseta System and has a CBMT number. The apprentice’s name and ID number have to be supplied to SARS by the bookkeeper, to qualify for the rebate. 

Q  What is the current situation with the Legacy Qualifications: CBMT Panelbeating and Spray painting? 

A  AQCTO circular on clarification of the way forward (26 June 2018): “All qualifications that have the end registration date 30 June 2018 to be re-registered for a period of five years:” which include both trades in panelbeating and spray painting. 

Q  If an apprentice completed his/her apprenticeship, does the company have to employ him/her? 

A  When an apprentice has completed his/her training, the company has concluded its obligation with regards to the workplace learning programme and the contract ends. 

 Q  What is the process with regards to ARPL of panelbeating and spray painting? 

A  Please see my last article in Automotive Refinisher for October/November 2019 for the criteria and the process at an accredited Trade Test Centre. Since 1 September 2019 a candidate has to apply at such a centre and no more at the Merseta. 

Q  What is the cost of the Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL)-process? 

A  It all depends on the work experience of a candidate as well as the outcome of the assessment interview in which the theoretical knowledge of the candidate is evaluated. A candidate has to be acquainted with the curriculum content and assessment criteria of the trade he applies for. 

Q  You mentioned in your Automotive Refinisher Article of October/November 2019. “Three years of accumulated relevant verifiable work experience.” Where can I get an example of such a service letter? 

A  Contact me on my e-mail address and ITC will e-mail you an example of a service letter. 

Q  When will the RPL-process for the VDQ start? 

A  As soon as QCTO accredited Assessment Centres have been established. The VDQGBSA and the  Merseta ETQA are the final stages of establishing these centres. 

Q  I received a “professional designation” from the VDQGBSA, does this mean I am a qualified Vehicle Damage Quantifier? 

A  The awarding of a “professional designation” by the VDQBSA is a “ title or status” and not a qualification. See in this regard amended SAQA policy and criteria for recognition a professional body and registering a professional designation for the purpose of the national qualifications framework Act, 67 of 2008 (March 2018). 

Q  When applying for the Company’s Mandatory and Discretionary Grants for year 2021, will there be monetary assistance with the RPL-Process? 

A  Yes, just remind the SDF to apply for RPL-funding (please see the Merseta Grants Policy – available on the website or contact your CLO for assistance and information) or bring it under the attention of your service provider. If you have any questions or need assistance with regards to apprenticeship training, ARPL, VDQ or Skills Training of the staff, please drop me an e-mail or contact me on 082-414-5557 / 012-379-8684 (leave a message with Lize). 

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