The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), have committed to raising standards across the South African automotive industry by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).
Having officially signed the MoU at the IMI’s yearly dinner in London this month, Merseta and RMI partnered with the IMI to promote the value of a better trained and skilled workforce in the automotive sector.
The industry bodies noted that investment in South African trainees through vocational training would result in direct benefits for employers; it would also help develop automotive careers and economic growth across the country.
IMI, working in partnership with Merseta and RMI, would embark on comparative research to quantify the business value that skilling workers through apprenticeships would contribute to businesses of any size – from small enterprises to larger organisations.
A similar return on investment (ROI) study, sponsored by the UK government in partnership with IMI, showed that well-trained employees under the apprenticeship model could produce a return on employer investment of up to 300%.
In South Africa, Merseta, RMI and the IMI, would be encouraging employers to participate in a ROI project to ascertain the added value that apprenticed motor mechanics, spraypainters and body repairers would deliver to their employers for the economic benefit of the nation.
“Building relationships and working with Merseta and RMI will help the IMI enhance and promote automotive skills throughout Southern Africa and worldwide. Benchmarking to IMI global standards will ensure our qualifications and accreditations have portability across South Africa and the Southern Africa region,” said IMI international manager Herbert Lonsdale.
IMI ROI investment manager Paul Spear added that, as a developing country, South Africa had its own unique challenges, that were apparent in the high unemployment rate, especially among the youth.
“By driving improvements in vocational qualifications, employers can play their part with government by attracting the youth into apprenticeships and training,” he concluded.