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
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
This Week's Magazine
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene earlier this month stated that, while South Africa’s 2015 economic growth target of 2% was achievable, it was not enough to deliver the tax revenue needed to combat the country’s challenges.
The World Steel Association has published the 2015 edition of the World Steel in Figures report, which shows an increase in steel production as well as provides an overview of steel industry activities from crude steel production to apparent steel use.
The 25-year master plan for Gauteng’s Aerotropolis project will go through a process of approval and adoption during June and July, says Aerotroplis project manager Jack van der Merwe. “We are also in the process of putting together a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) plans to fit 15 of its buildings, totalling 127 000 m2 of roof space, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), in the Eastern Cape, with solar panels.
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA’s) November 2014 judgment, ordering steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to hand over the 2003 Environmental Master Plan for its Vanderbijlpark steel plant to environmental pressure groups, confirmed the right of civil...