R/€ = 15.23Change: 0.20
R/$ = 13.52Change: 0.24
Au 1148.19 $/ozChange: 13.43
Pt 939.00 $/ozChange: 28.50
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Sep 14, 2012

Welding institute notes gap between qualification, competence

Africa|Education|Flow|Sustainable|Systems|Training|Welding|Africa|South Africa|Southern African Institute Of Welding|Flow|Solutions|Systems
© Reuse this

Although there are indus- try players such as the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) providing training and, as such, career development for welding professionals, the gap between qualifications and competence levels in the industry remains, says SAIW executive director Jim Guild.

“This is not just happening with welding qualifications but across many areas of education and technology in South Africa. A decade ago, engineers and artisans would further their education by undertaking welding and inspection courses, usually after having gained experience in the field.

“Competence was of no major concern and there was confidence that qualified personnel would be able to do the job. “Over the last 20 years, however, the number of artisans and experienced personnel in the market has decreased substantially,” he says.

Guild adds that changes in labour legislation and reduced global competitiveness have caused many companies to cut back their involvement in training, resulting in many training facilities closing down.

In addition, he says the falling value of the rand has made it more lucrative for trained and skilled people to work abroad.

“To add to the skills drain, government decided to abandon the proven apprenticeship route for training artisans, although it has now been reinstated,” notes Guild.

With fewer artisans in the country and increasing numbers of younger people seeking qualification opportunities, he states that the level of competence after qualification has been falling.

“School leavers wanting to enter the welding industry need a qualification to find employment so they attend courses, pass the exams, gain a qualification and enter the job market without adequate experience.

“The objective of feeding the market with skills and competence has become increasingly difficult. “When the newly qualified youngsters enter the job market, industry tends to give them too much responsibility before they have been given the opportunity to build up experience,” he explains.

He adds that the definition of competence varies from industry to industry, but, in general, it is somebody who is capable of doing a specific job well, regardless of the working conditions, and who can take prompt corrective measures to eliminate any mistakes or rule out disasters.

“A competent person is knowledgeable of applicable standards, is capable of identifying work requirements and can identify potential hazards relating to a specific situation.

“A qualified person may have the required level of theoretical knowledge for a particular job but it is the added surrounding practical knowledge and experience that raises employees’ levels of competence. Most competent people are qualified, but not all qualified people are competent,” asserts Guild.

Despite the challenges, Guild says the outlook for training has improved to some extent in the last few years.

“Many of the large companies that used to be well known for their excellent training programmes are reinstating their facilities and are taking in significant numbers of trainees.

“Some of the approaches which were pushed by government and quasi-government organisations have been found lacking, but government has become more flexible and the apprenticeship route for artisans has been re-embraced,” he states.

Even so, there are still significant challenges with regard to national training facilities.

The increased flow of young, inexperienced people qualifying through diploma courses has to be considered a positive trend, says Guild.

He adds that it is important that industry employers apply common sense and check the curriculum vitae of a new recruit to ensure that, if necessary, he or she is placed on a suitable development programme and not compelled immediately to accept more responsibility than is appropriate to their level of experience and competence.

“The SAIW also has a responsibility to improve the recognition of competent personnel and we are currently considering how this can be done. “The most common approach is to adopt a personnel certification programme.

“These have built-in requirements for verification of experience and continuing professional development requirements. There are some well-known international certification programmes for welding quality control personnel, but these are not great models to follow, as they carry large assumptions of prior knowledge and the associated training is minimal,” he explains.

The pool from which these schemes can draw is small and, to be sustainable, the schemes have to lower their standards of entry, says Guild.

“There are solutions though and we are exploring the best of these through the industry support committees, which guide the institute in the development of its training, qualification and certification systems.

“There is much industry debate about the gap between qualification and competence and all input that can be given to the institute will help direct us to the best solution,” he concludes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Southern African Institute of Welding News
POSITIVE PARTNERSHIP Air Products distributor business manager Jorg Scholz, Cosmo industrial sales manager Jaques Uys, Cosmo general manager Petrus Pretorius, Cosmo training manager Leazle van Rooi
With a strong focus on supply chain efficiencies, industrial and specialty gas products and chemicals supplier Air Products South Africa has built up strong relationships with its distributors, creating partnerships which are mutually beneficial, and which are in...
SKYHILL FABRICATION FACILITY, SECUNDA Project services corporation Hydra-Arc Group is this year’s winner of the SAIW gold medal
Project services corporation Hydra-Arc Group is this year’s winner of the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW) gold medal. Hydra-Arc consists of associated companies that operate primarily in the petrochemical, construction, mining and power generation...
The Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) and the South African Institute of Non Destructive Testing (SAINT) have called for a harmonized South African NDT Qualification and Certification scheme, which will not only improve the quality of nondestructive...
Latest News
Updated 55 minutes ago The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has called on governments to introduce legislation that puts a stop to the construction of new coal plants, stating that coal consumption needed to be phased out completely by 2050, or earlier. The international nongovernmental...
Updated 1 hour 13 minutes ago The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has again lowered its growth outlook for South Africa for 2015, projecting in its October World Economic Outlook (WEO) that the economy would expand by only 1.4% this year and 1.3% in 2016. The forecasts represent a 0.6 and a 0.8...
Minister Thulas Nxesi
Updated 1 hour 20 minutes ago There are still many opportunities for South Africa’s black high school learners to find jobs in future, both in the public and private sectors, provided that the learners apply discipline and commitment to study, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday....
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
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)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Sphere Holdings CEO Itumeleng Kgaboesele
Updated 7 hours ago Black-owned investment holding company Sphere Holdings plans to raise a further R1-billion in the coming months in support of its strategy to become a leading black industrial enterprise, which could ultimately seek a listing on the JSE.
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme.   LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96