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It has taken over five months for the working group to revise the Vehicle Painter (Automotive and Marine Painter) qualification and present a proposed solution to industry on the way forward…

The initiative was prompted by the following motives:

– The existing vehicle painter qualification expires mid-2018 and will be renewed as it stands if no input for amendments or re-alignment are received.

– There has been no take-up of the qualification by industry and no apprentices have been registered.

– The total credits of 366 on the existing qualification are below the required standard of 540 credits.

– The structure and contents of the existing curriculum and qualification do not make provision for part qualifications.

– For RPL tools to be built, for the industry to acknowledge and qualify the current employed workforce of general workers and body shop assistants in their respective fields of expertise, part qualifications need to be established as a conduit.

– QCTO launched the Part Qualification Project in February 2016 and are endorsing the development of part qualifications process, but require input from Industry.

A working group was commissioned at the workshop earlier in the year by industry stakeholders. Those who participated are: Eddie Da Silva (ABS), John Addis (NAMB), Marius Nel (BASF); Steve Kessel (CRASA); Marwaan Davids (MIBCO) and Yvonne Lushaba (NF).

Industry consultation session

In late October these key industry stakeholders were again invited to a follow-up workshop at the BASF conference facility in Midrand. The purpose of the workshop was to present the proposed qualification to industry, allow industry to comment, give input and to get a mandate on the way forward to re-develop the curriculum and occupational qualification. All stakeholders of the automotive body repair industry were invited, and the turnout was a resounding success.

Eddie Da Silva opened the proceedings and explained the background and purpose of the initiative.

Marwaan Davids then explained the need for the change in the motor industry and how important it is for the skills and labour fraternities to join forces and develop qualifications that respond to industry needs and thus lead to employment.

John Addis explained and outlined how the proposed draft was developed according to QCTO framework and standards and how it could facilitate the formal development of the vehicle painter (automotive) trade qualification. He emphasised that the proposal did not suggest that this would be the qualification, but that it could be the basis to work off of.

Interaction between the working group panel and delegates ensued whereby part qualification development, socio- economic challenges, industry statistics, occupations and occupational activities, progression and portability of skills, human dignity and growth issued were addressed.


The way forward

The general sentiment from the forum was that there is an urgent need to re-develop the curriculum and occupational qualification as proposed. The working group set out to get a mandate from the forum and stakeholders on the way forward, which was to pursue curriculum development through MerSETA or allow NF Apprentice to pursue a Development Quality Partnership (DQP) application at QCTO and facilitate the development of the Vehicle Painter (Automotive) curriculum and occupational qualification. Stakeholders have proposed that a request be submitted to merSETA apply to QCTO and NF to be the DQP for the development of the Vehicle Painter (Automotive) curriculum and occupational qualification.

The session was meant to bring to life the slogan used by the working group “By Industry, for Industry”. Delegates indeed, contributed to the pursuance of having a qualification that addresses industry needs and participated in the development thereof.

Eddie closed off the session by explaining that industry needed to take charge of its own destiny and that this was the beginning. He explained the initiative was in is the interest of industry and that a new and relevant Vehicle Painter (Automotive) occupational qualification would be a benefit to all.

This could be the start of something new and current and could well be the trigger of other legacy trade qualifications. With delegates proposing for NF to drive this process, it is hoped that key stakeholders in industry would avail themselves and their resources to ensure that the proposed qualification is finalised, endorsed and approved by the QCTO for implementation.