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TEPA champions training to upskill tyre retail sector

According to Census 2022, 18,5 million adults in South Africa did not complete their secondary schooling, which means they do not have a matric certificate. This is a significant barrier to tertiary education, notes Angie Frederic, TEPA Training Representative.

Sector-specific skills development is critical in giving this section of the population an opportunity to learn a skill and advance into the job market.

TEPA has thus identified a need for progressive and continuous learning in the sector. Angie Frederic, newly appointed TEPA Training Representative, says, “We want to acknowledge and formalise existing competencies through recognition of prior learning, and future formal learning within our industry. The automotive industry is continuously evolving with new technologies, making it necessary to continue learning and upskilling staff to handle diverse vehicle types and requirements,”she says.

TEPA has specifically identified the need for fitment professionals to upgrade their skills. Complex electronic systems and advanced safety systems require specialised knowledge for servicing and maintenance.

The TEPA training committee, along with industry experts, will continue to identify the demand for specialised skills development within the tyre retail sector. “We will not only identify the specialised skills but develop solutions to implement the training programmes too,” she says.

TEPA will wherever possible ask providers to apply for merSETA discretionary grants on behalf of its members and identify the skills needed to be trained within the evolving tyre fitment centre industry.

At the moment, TEPA is identifying various training schools nationally which can offer the appropriate training for tyre repairers, wheel alignment technicians and salespersons.

“We have also identified the need for a new skills programme, which will include basic automotive service, service of batteries and the fitment of automotive components (brakes and shocks). These new skills programmes, once ratified, will be introduced at approved and accredited training providers via qualified mechanics as assessors once they have received RMI Board approval,” concludes Vishal Premlall, TEPA national director.