The Automobile Association Technical College (AATC) and Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MerSETA) have joined forces to assist small companies within South Africa. The two entities have started an apprenticeship training programme that aims to create skilled artisans within the Diesel Mechanic, Motor Mechanic and Auto Electrician trades.
MerSETA accredited companies and Service Delivery Levy (SDL) exempt companies will receive the grants for the training from MerSETA and the AATC will conduct the training at the college in Midrand.
“SA’s skills shortage is a prevalent topic that continues to gather debate, as seen in the 2012 Budget Speech. The AA’s main focus is the consumer and we want to get more qualified artisans into the industry, to improve the quality of service,” says Derek Hall-Jones, DM: Road Services and Technical at the AA. “The partnership looks to improve the state of the shortage and bring in more qualified artisans by assisting businesses who do not have the resources to apply for grants, and do not always see the value in training apprentices.”
As MerSETA supply the grants, companies that are current MerSETA levy payers, or companies that are exempt from paying levies, and with a payroll of less that R 500,000 per annum, qualify for this training.
MerSETA will supply the apprentices through their Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) beneficiary’s programme. The AATC will then screen all candidates by conducting psychometric and practical assessments. Only screened, capable apprentices will be provided to AA Quality Assured (AAQA) companies and other interested companies for employment. Within these companies, qualified tradesmen will act as a mentor for the apprentices, and ensure their growth over the three years of training.