Jun 15, 2012
Combining electrician training with workplace experience seen as criticalBack
Construction|Africa|Education|Environment|Installation|Safety|System|Testing|Training|Africa|South Africa|Centre P&T Technology|Energy|Accredited Electrician Training Centre P&T Technology
© Reuse this
Learners should be placed on a rotating schedule in which they alternate between formal training at a training centre and regu- larly experience the practical elements of the profession under a registered electrician. This will ensure that the electricians who take learners for practical training never have a sudden shortage or glut of learners, and are assured of a set standard of technical knowledge among learners on practical training.
“We need the skills. There is a shortage of these skills in South Africa, but we must also ensure learners are given good foundations of technical and formal training, and are then given practical training under a registered professional, all within the safety and quality ambit of the codes of good practice, specifically the South African National Standard (SANS) 10142-1 Wiring Code,” he says.
“However, the efficiency of training must improve for us to [produce] the skills that the country needs. For effective skills transfers and to accelerate artisan training, we should send the learners to companies with qualified electricians who are able to transfer skills to new trainee artisans.
To ensure qualified electricians, special attention must be given to training according to quality and safety standards, he says.
“During their first days, we present learners with the SANS 10142-1 Wiring Code, which stipulates certain mandatory practices with regard to quality and safety. The first-year students must determine the size of conduits they must use, which depends on the size of the wires, besides other basics, according to the Wiring Code. In the second year, the students must determine what must be done, according to the code, when presented with a house diagram,” notes Du Plessis.
A registered human resource practitioner and master installation electrician by trade, Du Plessis highlights that fault finding is a critically important skill for electricians, especially in industry. This is why the P&T Technology centre contains simulators that have inherent faults built in to ascertain the depth of a trainee’s understanding of SANS rules and whether he or she can work safely, mindful of how his or her work may affect the certificate of compliance for a facility.
P&T Technology trains student electricians from National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 2 to NQF Level 4, has single-phase and three-phase work and testing stations and boasts an access-controlled, secure trade testing facility where tests are recorded by cameras for proof of a qualified electrician’s capabilities.
The company uses computer laboratories at its centre to distribute learning materials and teach skills, and competence tests in the practical application of skills are carried out at workstations. The company has seven training officers on site.
“We give weekly reports to employers on the progress of trainees and we have a learner management system that tracks their progress and their professional records. We train and assess unit standards as required by people applying to the Department of Labour for the wireman’s licence. We are also a decentralised trade test centre and conduct trade tests for the Chemical Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta), the Energy Seta and the Construction Seta,” he adds.
P&T Technology trains artisans in 14-week blocks three times a year, for a period of about three years.
“The focus is on implementing skills development in the work environment, because the return on investment for training is long term. Bear in mind that if one trains artisans effectively, one can save money, partly by tapping discretionary or mandatory grants – up to 70% of training fees – from the relevant Seta, and one will improve productivity and increase the qualified skills available to the company and its clients,” concludes Du Plessis.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other Electricity News
Updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
Updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has announced that it is to introduce regulations for the operation of civilian remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, previously known as unmanned air vehicles or UAVs and popularly called drones). Director of...
Updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago Power management company Eaton signed a premium distribution partnership deal with electrical components manufacturer Diesel Electric Services last week in Sandton, which will result in Diesel Electric distributing between 80% and 90% of Eaton’s range of...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 2 hours 9 minutes ago While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
Updated 2 hours 9 minutes ago LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
Updated 2 hours 9 minutes ago South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
Updated 2 hours 9 minutes ago The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Updated 2 hours 9 minutes ago Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.