In January the wait was finally over for thousands of hopeful matrics around the country. Encouragingly the class of 2022 achieved an 80.1% pass rate despite the many challenges of having to work through the Covid-19 pandemic, the worst load shedding in years and sporadic protests.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that for the past 10 years, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate had consistently been going up – from 60% in 2009 to above 70% pass rates in recent years. She commended the matric class of 2022.
Now it is decision time for many of these matrics who will be looking to enrol at either a university, private college or a technical and vocational education and training college.
The Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) strongly encourages young people to consider one of the many qualifications being offered at TVET colleges around the country.
There are 50 registered and accredited public TVET Colleges in South Africa which operate on approximately 364 campuses spread across the rural and urban areas of the country. Matrics can visit the Khetha career portal (https://www.careerhelp.org.za/.) of the DHET. The various TVET colleges offer an array of qualifications and sought-after artisanal qualification.
The manufacturing, engineering, related services sector education training authority (merSETA) career guide WhatsApp (0674190500) is also a very useful source of information and can guide on those occupations which are in high demand. Our own RMI training department is also constantly monitoring new developments and technological advancements in the sector to determine which skills are necessary to drive future growth. Candidates would benefit from reading the RMI webletter and magazine.
Although some of the colleges have already commenced with their teaching and learning, including practicals, following the successful online registration process, many are still accepting students in areas where the enrolment targets are not met and the department’s TVET branch is monitoring the developments at each college.
At a time when technology is changing so rapidly, it is worth remembering that the vibrant retail motor industry sector is urgently looking for skills and young South Africans who want to focus on technical careers and are willing to embrace apprenticeships so they can earn whilst they learn.
Trades related to the automotive aftermarket sales, repair, maintenance, component and trailer manufacturing sector include motor and diesel mechanic; auto electrician; automotive machinist and engine fitter; diesel fuel injection pump mechanic; motorcycle mechanic; vehicle body builder, welder, and millwright. Branching from the main trades are jobs for wheel alignment; tyre fitter; engine dismantler; radiator, CV-joint and prop shaft repair.
The opportunities to specialise are exciting allowing young people to explore sought after expert areas including colour mixer and matcher; application of waterborne and 2 and 3 stage pearlescent paint; passenger and commercial vehicle technicians; vehicle engine remanufacturing; diagnostic and fault-finding technicians; coded welding, and steering geometry and advanced driver-assistance systems. Alternate fuel driven vehicles like electric vehicles and gas converted vehicles are also opening up exciting new opportunities for young people to specialise in and these are the careers of the future.
University is definitely not for everyone and a TVET qualification offers an excellent alternative. Importantly young South Africans need to match their technical field of interest with the TVET colleges offering. Not all TVET colleges offer all trades, and careful research is required before making a final selection.