Motor rewind training changes, Steve Hart
Training for motor winders is getting an overhaul with plans underway to align the national certificate offered by The Skills Organisation ITO with that of the US-based Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA).
The EASA is a trade organisation that works with more than 1900 electromechanical sales and service firms in 62 countries.
Kerry Passau, director of South Auckland Armature Winders, has been pushing for the change since last year.
He says: “Only about 10 people a year typically study for the motor winding course across the country. It is such a small number in such a specialised trade, that it's just not an economical or viable option for the polytechnics to offer it.”
While the course is offered by the Open Polytechnic and ETEC in Auckland, Glenn Nicholson of The Skills Organisation understands the current certificate doesn't meet the needs of industry.
“The motor winding industry has told us the current training scheme isn't providing people with the skills these companies need,” says Glenn. “In addition, the wind turbine industry also wants a say in the future training of motor winders, so the talks have widened.”
Kerry says discussions with The Skills Organisation are at an advanced stage and hopes to see them completed, and a revised qualification based on EASA's Votech (vocational technical) course material, introduced before the year-end.
The US course takes twoand-a-half years to complete and, in anticipation of it being adopted, is already being used by six apprentices in New Zealand.
“Guys doing the Votech course now will come out with a dual [NZQA/EASA] qualification,” says Kerry. “You can use the US certificate in Europe, the States, Australia, South Africa.
“EASA provides training materials that not only cover the rewinding side but mechanical, electrical, machining, AC and DC motors – there's 10 volumes in all.”
Right now he is working with The Skills Organisation to cross reference EASA's Votech course manuals with the unit standards of the national certificate in motor rewinding and repair. “It is quite a detailed process, taking all the manuals and crossreferencing them,” he says. “We have made some good progress.”
Kerry says the move takes industry training forward and shows the trade is taking responsibility for training the people it needs with the skills businesses want.
“We are saying, look – we are the trade, we know what skill sets we want,” he says. “Some of the best guys I have had working with me are diabolical when it comes to writing things down and passing exams. But when it comes to repairing something they are brilliant.
“I'd hate to see us ever get to the stage in this country where we create a system where we stop a guy – who is brilliant with his hands – from being able to pat himself on the back and say ‘I got that certificate'.”
Kerry says the motor winding industry is becoming more specialised.
“The motors we do repair are very specialised,” he says.