“Gone are the days when the area was seen as boring and just for men,” said Motus Technical Academy manager at Wadeville Lee de Sousa.
“Diplomas are in great demand, here and abroad. Women are also making waves in the industry, with their innate attention to detail among the skills that opens many doors for them.
“Anyone can be successful in the training we offer, regardless of the challenges they may face in their situation. All you need is passion for the job, commitment and discipline.
His career is proof of this, having started as an apprentice auto mechanic at Lindsay Saker.
“I then moved to Audi, when Audi and VW were a single entity. After the separation of the two brands, I was allowed to open an Audi workshop in Braamfontein and moved to various other branches of the group to gain experience.
“This journey has taken me from auto mechanic to foreman, service advisor and service manager in, eventually, the training division, where I found my passion. I never looked back. “
Richard Green, national director of the South African Association of Motor Body Repairers (SAMBRA), said apprenticeship is a great way to develop a trade-specific skill.
SAMBRA is a proud subsidiary of the Retail Motor Industry Organization (RMI) and represents nearly 1,000 auto body repair companies in South Africa, accounting for over 80% of all insured repair claims in the country.
“Many South African industries, like bodybuilders, are in desperate need of skilled tradespeople. Apprentices have a good chance of entering the industry full time. An apprenticeship combines theory, practical work and work experience in a chosen professional field.
“With a trade listed, like panel threshing or spray painting, it ends with a trade test and you receive a craftsman proficiency certificate,” Green explained.
It usually takes three to four years to gain artisan status, after which employment is guaranteed if the parties agree to a continuing employment relationship.
The Quality Council for Trades and Professions oversees apprenticeships in South Africa (QCTO) and the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) oversees the quality assurance of apprenticeships on behalf of the QCTO.
Green reiterated that learning is not something you can go in and out of the way you want. This requires commitment and adherence to the terms of a formal contractual agreement.
Faithful to his passion, de Sousa invites those enrolled and other young people to the academy during the school holidays to see what it is about.
“They experience all aspects of an auto body repair business, from administration to support, and participate in training sessions, including supervised hands-on training,” he said.
Motus has four academies – Germiston (auto mechanic), Wadeville (diesel mechanic, auto electrical, spray painting and auto body repair), Bloemfontein (auto mechanic, diesel and engine) and Cape Town (diesel mechanic, auto electrical and auto mechanic). ).
They have professionally accredited tests for diesel mechanics, automotive mechanics, motorcycle and scooter mechanics, automotive electricals, auto body repair, and spray painting.
To participate in one of the trainings, the candidate must have a ninth grade certificate.
No compulsory school subjects are required, but math, physical sciences, technical drawing and theory (N1 or N2) are recommended, as it helps to understand the curriculum material, de Sousa explained.
De Sousa said the academies in Wadeville and Cape Town have their trades examination centers with accreditation to test all the trades on offer.
Interesting news for those wishing to enter the MBR industry is that Lee has helped introduce a new qualification, the Vehicle Damage Quantifier.
He explained that the Motus Technical Academy in Wadeville has been accredited for training and testing for this qualification.
“With this new qualification, many people in the industry, such as panel beaters and spray painters, will be inspecting vehicles to assess damage and make quotes. It is also a value-added qualification for insurance assessors, ”concluded de Sousa.
Green advised anyone interested in an apprenticeship to talk to skilled artisans and visit their workplaces to see what the job entails.
They can also contact their local TVET College Advisory Center or SAMBRA for advice HERE.