Technical and vocational training remains high on the agenda

While the national TVET month may have ended on 31 August, technical and vocational training remains high on the agenda as applications open at most of the TVET Colleges around the country for 2023 students.

Empowering young people with skills and knowledge is an essential activity in building and maintaining the economy of any society. This has been the driving force behind an image campaign being run via a TVET partnership

project between the Handwerkskammer Erfurt (HWK), the RMI and TVET institutions in the Eastern Cape, funded through the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ).

“While we may often look towards schools, colleges and universities as education institutions, vocational skills such as motor mechanics, hairdressing or plumbing, to name just a few, certain practical skills cannot be taught in a classroom, or even in a TVET college alone,” says Birgit Mac Mahon, the resident project manager for the HWK.

She says no school can teach what actually goes on in an Auto repair workshop, where young learners not only learn how to repair and service cars in a live environment, but also learn other highly valuable skills like how to become a responsible member of a staff, how to deal with customers and how to handle cars entrusted by the customer.

In the automotive sector, private automotive workshops play an important role in training young people to become motor mechanics, and with the support of government institutions, the cost of training can be mitigated for workshops with the added advantage that they can train their own future technicians.

Finn Auto Repair & Diagnostics in Gqeberha is one such workshop. They have been training young people since 2013, and in cooperation with PE TVET colleges since 2019. The owner, Jack Finn, currently has three apprentices at his workshop. Together with his wife Bridget they decided to cooperate with PE TVET College in a government scheme to introduce apprenticeship

training in selected TVET colleges. During the three-year apprenticeship, the apprentices alternate between the college where they are taught theory and practical skills, and their employer to deepen their practical skills and additional skills within the working environment.

Bridget Finn, Bilqees Schmidt, Monray Parker and Jack Finn in the workshop at Finn Auto Repair & Diagnostics.