Specialised training in automotive diagnostics for five new TVET teachers participating in the TVET partnership between the Handwerkskammer (HWK) Erfurt Germany and nine TVET colleges in the Eastern Cape Region was held from the 4 – 9 November to ensure the programme continues gaining momentum in 2022.
The partnership with HWK and the colleges is now entering its final year and has drawn in the support of industry specialists. Since 2020, the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) has acted as a much valued partner in this venture, supporting closer cooperation in training between the TVET training institutions and private companies in the motor mechanic branch. Birgit Mac Mahon at HWK says throughout the partnership the project has been working closely with 20 teachers from 9 TVET institutions in the Eastern Cape.
Like many sectors unfortunately, the project has lost valuable skills due to professional migration, retirement and sadly loss due to Covid.
Mac Mahon says unfortunately seven educators have been lost to the programme but fortunately and additional five new colleagues have been introduced into the project. To help these new colleagues to catch up their training, a 4-day training workshop was organised with the project’s technical expert, Martin Mac Mahon.
Mac Mahon says each teacher brought along the motor diagnostics equipment that had been sponsored by the project for their college so they could work autonomously with this equipment under the guidance of Martin Mac Mahon. “Motor diagnostics is a new technology that corresponds to the new electronic systems found in modern cars and it enables motor mechanics to diagnose problems quickly and precisely. The repair work itself however still needs to be done by hand and it is key these skills are reinforced,” says Mac Mahon.
The workshop ended with a demonstration by the teachers of this technology at a partnership meeting with members from private workshops and TVET colleges.
RMI’s Training Manager, Louis van Huyssteen, stressed the importance of upskilling apprentice facilitators and lecturers to train apprentices at institutions. “The link with industry and participation from industry specialists is equally key and we believe this is contributing to the success of the project,” says van Huyssteen.
A further 3- week workshop with a motor mechanics expert from the HWK Erfurt is planned for February 2022 for all teachers in the project. This will be the practical component of a series of online trainings carried out throughout 2021, as a result of the Covid travel restrictions.
“Access to international trends, through the German Craft Chamber, is invaluable for apprentices, particularly in an environment where skills are valued and provide businesses with a competitive advantage. The more teachers we can train the more apprentices we can help pull through the system and this bodes well for the future of our sector,” concludes Van Huyssteen.