Being the largest association in the RMI, MIWA believes it has the largest responsibility when it comes to training and upskilling in the industry. Currently there are many people who have worked in the industry for many years who have not had the opportunity to get their formal trade certificate. “We are looking at a culture change in the industry where formal training becomes the norm. This will improve the industry’s credibility and promote that being a qualified artisan is a professional career which in turn will assist in attracting youngsters to the industry.”
With this as the objective, MIWA joined forces with Bidvest Technical Training Academy regarding training needs and possible solutions for its members. A training project was launched during October 2017 and special funding was obtained from the Gauteng Department of Education and the National Department of Public Works involving 18 companies and 22 apprentices with a further 9 Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning applications.
MIWA also got involved with Imperial Technical Training Academy through their National Skills Fund (NSF) funded Apprentice Program which has awarded ITTA 600 grants for training of apprentices in Gauteng, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. MIWA workshops can participate by accepting apprentices acting as host businesses to place apprentices in for their workplace experience over 3 years. Participation from the Western Cape has been great and it is excited to see how businesses are starting to embrace these initiatives and opportunities.
MIWA representatives were also thrilled to attend the official opening of the Imperial Technical Training Academy in Bloemfontein in June 2018. More than 100 people attended and got to experience first-hand the facilities and to meet the staff and share in their vision for trades’ development in the region. The training academy will certainly meet the growing apprentice and technical training needs in the Free State. Imperial Technical Training Academies do not only provide these services to Imperial but to anyone who wants modern, current and top-class apprentice and skills training.
Imperial Technical Training Academy is one of the largest trades training providers to the industry. It specialises in seven automotive trades and currently provides apprentice services to over 300 clients nationally and over 1959 apprentices a year.
Training opportunities for workshops in the smaller regions has always been a challenge and we are proud to say that this is also now being addressed. As mention before will the opening of the Imperial Technical Training Academy in Bloemfontein address the challenge in the Free State & N Cape.
East London and the surrounding areas of the Border region now have the ability to send their apprentices to the Mercedes Benz Learning Academy who also offers state of the art training facilities for apprentice training. The Mercedes Benz Learning Academy also assist workshops to upskill their existing staff with offerings such as their specialised modular diagnostics and testing training system- the only one of its kind in the country.
The Centres of Specialisation (CoS) project was initiated by the Department Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the RMI was awarded the roles Occupational Team Convener for both the Automotive Motor Mechanic – and the Diesel Mechanic trades. Following the launches predominantly RMI members for the Automotive Motor Mechanic, and partly RMI members for the Diesel Mechanic completed Expression of Interest (EOI) forms to partake in this funded Department Higher Education and Training project. It was highly encouraging to see how many MIWA members form part of those businesses committed to this training initiative expressing their support for a change in culture. Below a summary of EOI forms received up to 30 June 2018.
• College of Cape Town – 11 employers with 34 apprentices
• Port Elizabeth College – 10 employers with 30 apprentices
• Mopani South-East TVET College (Phalaborwa) – 6 employers with 42 apprentices
• ORBIT TVET College (Mogwase) – 5 employers with 26 apprentices