How to become an Artisans in South Africa – all tips and tricks you need to know

How to become an Artisans in South Africa – all tips and tricks you need to know…

What is an Artisan?

An Artisan is anyone who has passed a Trade Test in any field of work. Artisans are associated particularly with engineering fields such as electrical, welding, boilermaking, and fitting and turning.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a technical training system that includes practical and theoretical training. They are offered in particular trades such as
millwright/fitter and after passing a Trade Test the learner/employee is recognised as an artisan.

Apprenticeships are different from learnerships in that they are job orientated and not career-orientated, and relate to a specific trade. This
means that if you participate in an apprenticeship you will learn a trade to fill a particular job post. Any person over the age of 16 may apply,
but good marks in maths and science increase the chances of learners being selected to participate.

What is needed to enter a training programme to become an Artisan?

You will need a Grade 9 pass with good marks in maths and science. You must have a certificate of physical fitness and be 16 years of
age or older. If you have no experience in an industry or trade, an N-course through a Further Education and Training (FET) Institution is
recommended. A list of FET colleges may be found in the EWSETA Career Guide available on our website: www.eseta.org.za.

What does a Trade Test involve?

During an Apprenticeship, modular and phase tests will be conducted as the programme progresses to assess the learner’s grasp of the skills being taught. These tests lead to a final Trade Test that assesses the learner’s overall competence to become an Artisan in his or her chosen trade.

A Trade Test is therefore, a final external summative assessment included in the occupational qualification for a listed Artisan trade. It is conducted by an assessor registered with the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) at a Trade Test Centre accredited by the SETA and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

Only when you have passed a Trade Test will you be recognised as a qualified Artisan.

Seven steps for becoming a Qualified Artisan

The Department of Higher Education and Training has founded the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB), which has developed seven
steps for becoming a qualified Artisan.

Step 1: is career management. School pupils from Grade 7 to Grade 12 will be encouraged to consider career options in technical and vocational programmes that would lead to becoming a qualified Artisan.

Step 2 fundamental and vocational theory, relates to the fundamental vocational engineering theory that is taught primarily at Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges that lays the foundation for anyone wanting to progress into an engineering career.

Step 3 is learner programme registration and funding, primarily roles performed by the SETAs. The SETA facilitates and registers an agreement signed by the learner, the employer who is hosting the learner and a training provider.

Step 4 focuses on occupational knowledge and practical training, during which the Apprentice enters an accredited Artisan training centre to learn the practical component of the programme.

Step 5 is workplace training, during which learning from steps two and four is applied in the workplace.

Step 6 is trade testing, conducted at a centre accredited by the SETA.

Step 7 is the culmination of the process, the quality assurance and certification of the Apprentice.


Registered Trades in the Energy and Water Services Sectors

Fitter/welder

What does a fitter/welder do?

Lays out, positions and secures parts and assemblies according to specifications, welds components using electricity or gas and installs
or repairs equipment such as lead pipes, valves, floors and tank linings.

What are the benefits?

You will have an opportunity to secure good employment with a competitive salary. The work is challenging, but you will have the satisfaction of seeing the tangible results of your work.

What qualities/skills do I need?

You will need physical strength and stamina, good coordination and manual
dexterity , mechanical aptitude and the ability to work in close quarters.

Who will employ me?

Contractors involved in manufacturing, construction or maintenance and repair; large engineering works and industrial plants; factories and iron and steel plants; shipyards and government departments, and Transnet,
mines and garages.


Fitter and turner

What does a fitter and turner do?

Manufactures, constructs, assembles and fits components for machinery, vehicles and installations. Also maintains and repairs such
equipment. From the blueprint for a piece of equipment, the fitter and turner crafts the rough metal into its final form, fit the parts, and inspect and test the final assembly of the machine.

What are the benefits?

You will have an opportunity to specialise and to secure good employment with a competitive salary. The work is challenging, but will give you the satisfaction of seeing the results of your work.

What qualities/skills do I need?

You must be at least 16 years of age, enjoy working with your hands and be practical. The job requires meticulous accuracy, mathematical
aptitude and the ability to read three-dimensional drawings. You must be able to concentrate and be responsible.

Who will employ me?

Fitting and turning contractors involved in manufacturing, construction or maintenance and repair; large engineering works and industrial
plants; factories and iron and steel plants; shipyards and government departments, and Transnet, mines and garages.


Electrician

What does an electrician do?

Electricians are involved in the generation, transmission, distribution and usage of electricity. They install, repair and maintain electrical equipment and detect electrical faults. You may supervise the erection of pylons, the connection of high-tension cabling on pylons, install transformers and switchboards at substations. Electricians at power stations install and maintain power generators and/or perform inspections on motors, switchgear and transformers.

What are the benefits?

You will have a variety of work tasks and locations, and will gain satisfaction from solving problems and working with your hands.

What qualities/skills do I need?

You have to be at least 16 years of age, enjoy working with your hands and be responsible. You’ll need to be able to work under pressure, communicate well with colleagues and be of good heath, with good eyesight.

Who will employ me?

Transport companies, government departments and parastatals; municipalities, factories and mines; and industries and private electrical
businesses. Self employment is also an option.


Instrument Mechanician

What does an Instrument Mechanician do?

Installs, repairs, maintains and adjusts indicating, recording, telemetering, and controlling instruments and test equipment; disassembles malfunctioning instruments or test equipment, such as bargraphs, electrical  ovens, multimeters, environmental cabinets, and weatherometers, and examines and tests mechanisms and circuitry for defects; replaces or repairs defective parts using handtools; reassembles instrument or test equipment, and tests assembly for conformance to specifications, and inspects instruments and test equipment periodically and adjusts calibration to ensure functioning within specified standards.

What are the benefits?

You will find this trade especially rewarding if you enjoy identifying and solving problems. Job prospects are good.

What qualities/skills do I need?

You must be detail-oriented and have good analytical skills. A knowledge of mathematics and the ability to work to precise specifications are essential.

Who will employ me?

Companies in the manufacturing sector, in industries such as food processing, textile mills, chemicals, fabricated metal products, motor vehicles, and primary metals. Also government agencies, public utilities, mining companies and other establishments in which industrial machinery is used.


Why should I become an Artisan?

  • As someone possessing a scarce skill, you will be in demand by companies across South Africa.
  • Your remuneration and annual increases are contained in the Manpower Training Act, so are legislated and non-negotiable.
  • You are not confined to one industry, but can move from, say, the energy sector to the fuel sector, by completing a short course to fill industry-related gaps in your knowledge.
  • As an Artisan, you have a passport to career progress. You can study further to become a technician or an engineer.
  • You can decide to become self-employed. With just two years’ work experience you can apply for a wireman’s licence and become your own boss.
  • Your qualification is benchmarked against similar qualifications internationally. With a certificate issued in South Africa you can work in various countries around the world, including Australia and Canada.

How do I become an Artisan?

There are four main routes to becoming an Artisan.
Apprenticeship

Through an employer advertisement, you can apply and become an employee (provided you meet the minimum criteria of having a
Grade 9 with Maths and Science). Through a contract entered into with EWSETA, the employer can enrol you on an apprenticeship
programme combining on-the-job training and modular-based training at an FET institution which will culminate in a Trade Test.

Learnership
By registering with the Department of Labour at a labour centre you will be legible for selection by an employer for a learnership combining on the- job and theoretical training (usually 2 – 3 years) which will culminate
in a Trade Test.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
If you are already skilled in a certain trade but do not have a qualification, you can apply to be assessed through the SETA (at a cost). The SETA will put you into contact with an accredited Service Provider who will assist with your assessment. Through the RPL process, the Service Provider will assess your competencies and gaps in skills profile, and assist you in closing those gaps through specific training, which will culminate in a Trade Test.

Skills Programme
If you are employed, you could approach your employer to assist in placing you in Skills programmes, which are short cources and ideally
unit standard building blocks towards a full Artisan Qualification. Once you have completed a full house of skills programmes, like the other three routes, it will culminate in a Trade Test.

How long will the process take?
Apprenticeships typically last from one to four years, but the time it takes to reach the level of competence required varies from one career to the next and from one individual to another.

Where should I start?

  • Visit your local Department of Labour office to register as an unemployed learner on the Department of Labour database.
    Employers consult the database to recruit learners to become involved in learnerships or other training programmes. You can also log onto www.labour.gov.za.
  • Look in the newspapers. Employers advertise for learners to apply for positions on a learnership, prospective apprentices or those who may qualify for a bursary.
  • Visit company websites to view the latest opportunities being advertised. In the Energy and Water Services Sectors, look at
    companies such as Eskom (www.eskom.co.za), Municipalities (www.salga.org.za), Rand Water (www.randwater.co.za), Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (www.prasa.com), Transnet (www.transnet.co.za), Sasol (www.sasol.co.za) and SAA (www.saa.co.za)

As a facilitator of skills development in the Energy and Water Services Sectors, EWSETA runs several projects to assist school leavers and unemployed youth to secure their spot in the workplace. There are also opportunities for internships and bursaries for electrical engineering. Visit www.eseta.org.za.


 For more information about Artisans contact:

Ernegy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA)
Sunnyside Office Park, 2nd & 3rd floors – Sentinel House 32 Prince of Wales Terrace, Parktown
P.O. Box 1273 Houghton 2041

Reception: 011 274 4700  | www.eseta.org.za

Source: EWSETA

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