It is well known that there is a shortage of skilled artisans and technicians in the automotive industry in South Africa with a shortage of training available to improve the problem at hand. It has not helped that South Africa's skilled resources have been trickling to overseas countries with global competition and consumption increasing, thereby compounding the situation.
Industry experts are keenly aware that this shortage has a negative impact on the quality of service provided and customer satisfaction within the industry. "This situation is not only prevalent in the franchised dealer market but also extends to the general vehicle repairers in the aftermarket presenting a significant challenge to the industry as a whole" says Derek Hall-Jones, DM of Technical Services at the AA.
Vehicle technology is becoming more advanced especially in the area of electronic control because of its ability to manage vehicle mechanical systems for safety and optimum efficiencies. This therefore raises the bar in terms of potential technician's education levels where mathematics and science will play a crucial role in selection.
"A natural consequence of higher educational entry requirements will be the fact that potential technicians will have a broader choice of vocations after school, making it imperative that the industry addresses the attractiveness of these much needed automotive skills" adds Hall-Jones The AA’s Training Academy was established in 2006 to develop these much needed skills ensuring that the industry is able to not only meet demand but also that the quality of service is secured. The Academy is now in its third year of operation, is Merseta accredited with its main facility in Johannesburg as well as a branch in Cape Town.
The Academy offers not only Competency Based Modular Training (CBMT) apprenticeships, but also learnership and skills programs and is uniquely positioned to offer selective trade and skill level testing, offering a workable solution to the problem at hand.
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