7 steps to a ca­reer as an ar­ti­san

As the decade of the ar­ti­san kicks off, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to be­come one

CityPress - - Careers - CITY PRESS REPORTER news@city­press.co.za

To meet its quota for 2030, the de­part­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing will need to pro­duce twice as many ar­ti­sans as it is pro­duc­ing at present.

This means there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for ma­tric­u­lants who have not yet found their calling.

“The Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan re­quires that by 2030, at least 30 000 qual­i­fied ar­ti­sans are pro­duced per year. Cur­rently, the coun­try pro­duces, on av­er­age, 12 000 qual­i­fied ar­ti­sans per year,” says Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Blade Nz­i­mande.

Stu­dents who are in­ter­ested in train­ing as an engi­neer, mo­tor me­chanic, plum­ber or elec­tri­cian can com­plete their stud­ies through the Na­tional Ar­ti­san Devel­op­ment Sup­port Cen­tre (NADSC). Ma­tric­u­lants can reg­is­ter by go­ing to its web­site, con­tact­ing the NADSC call cen­tre on 011 736 4400 or by email­ing copies of their qual­i­fi­ca­tions to info@eec.hipcc.co.za.

To be­come an ar­ti­san, ma­tric­u­lants must have stud­ied math­e­mat­ics as a sub­ject and ob­tained a pass mark of 50% or higher.

Those ma­tric­u­lants who do not have math­e­mat­ics but have passed and want to con­sider a ca­reer as an ar­ti­san can also reg­is­ter at the NADSC for a bridg­ing course that the de­part­ment is im­ple­ment­ing in part­ner­ship with the re­tail mo­tor sec­tor. This sec­tor is look­ing to take on 12 000 young peo­ple as ap­pren­tices.

This bridg­ing course in­cludes math­e­mat­ics, engi­neer­ing science, a tech­ni­cal sub­ject like elec­tron­ics, life ori­en­ta­tion, com­puter skills and a short course on ar­ti­san devel­op­ment leg­is­la­tion.

Another op­tion for those want­ing to study to­wards an ap­pren­tice­ship is for them to be­come an ar­ti­san in the civil, me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal ca­reer fields. The post-school ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing col­leges, will have 10 000 ar­ti­sanal op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Here are the seven steps, as iden­ti­fied by the de­part­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, to be­com­ing a qual­i­fied ar­ti­san:

Step 1: Ca­reer guid­ance and man­age­ment

A sys­tem of ef­fec­tive ca­reer guid­ance has been im­ple­mented to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and mar­ket ar­ti­sanal ca­reers among South Africans to en­sure the suf­fi­cient en­trance of learn­ers into ar­ti­sanal trade oc­cu­pa­tions. Ef­fec­tive ca­reer guid­ance en­sures that en­trants will have made in­formed ca­reer choices, and ca­reer man­age­ment will fa­cil­i­tate pro­gres­sion to ar­ti­san sta­tus and be­yond into tech­ni­cian and engi­neer­ing-re­lated oc­cu­pa­tions.

Step 2: Knowl­edge learn­ing

Although ar­ti­sanal oc­cu­pa­tions are pri­mar­ily fo­cused on hand skills and prac­ti­cal abil­ity, they are sup­ported by a sub­stan­tial amount of gen­eral, vo­ca­tional or fun­da­men­tal knowl­edge learnt through the ba­sic school­ing sys­tem or at vo­ca­tional col­leges. To en­sure ef­fec­tive through­put and suc­cess rates in oc­cu­pa­tional learn­ing, a strong fun­da­men­tal knowl­edge is re­quired of sub­jects such as math­e­mat­ics, science, draw­ing and the tech­ni­cal lan­guage used in the tech­ni­cal work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Step 3: Learner agree­ment regis­tra­tion and con­tract­ing

The next step to be­com­ing a qual­i­fied ar­ti­san is to find a work­placeap­proved em­ployer who will en­ter into a learn­ing pro­gramme agree­ment and con­tract with the learner af­ter Step 2 has been com­pleted suc­cess­fully.

The em­ployer will ap­ply an in­dus­try-spe­cific se­lec­tion process be­fore en­ter­ing into an agree­ment and con­tract with the learner as the em­ployer will want to en­sure that the learn­ers are fully suited to the in­dus­try they want to prac­tice their trade in.

A crit­i­cal part of Step 3 is the al­lo­ca­tion of fund­ing for ar­ti­sanal learn­ers through grant pay­ments from Se­tas, which form an in­te­gral part of the learner agree­ment and con­tract.

Step 4: Oc­cu­pa­tional knowl­edge and prac­ti­cal learn­ing

Af­ter a learn­ing pro­gramme agree­ment is reg­is­tered with a rel­e­vant Seta and a con­tract of learn­ing – in­clud­ing fund­ing ar­range­ments – is in place, the ar­ti­sanal learner will en­ter an ac­cred­ited ar­ti­san train­ing cen­tre.

At cer­tain pre­de­ter­mined stages, there are for­ma­tive as­sess­ments ap­plied, pre­vi­ously known as phase tests, to en­sure learn­ers have as­sim­i­lated the oc­cu­pa­tional knowl­edge and prac­ti­cal skills, and can pro­ceed to the next stage.

Step 5: Work­place learn­ing

Real com­pe­tence in any oc­cu­pa­tion is whether a person can ap­ply and trans­fer learn­ing at the work­place or across a va­ri­ety of work­places.

There­fore, the most crit­i­cal com­po­nent of learn­ing in ar­ti­san devel­op­ment is work­place learn­ing. Dur­ing the work­place learn­ing process, the oc­cu­pa­tional knowl­edge and prac­ti­cal learn­ing as­sim­i­lated in the pre­vi­ous step are ap­plied in the work­place.

Step 6: Trade test­ing and recog­ni­tion of prior learn­ing

Once the ar­ti­san learner has suc­cess­fully com­pleted the oc­cu­pa­tional knowl­edge, prac­ti­cal and work­place learn­ing, the Skills Devel­op­ment Act re­quires a learner to un­dergo an ex­ter­nal fi­nal as­sess­ment – also known as a trade test – be­fore they can be cer­ti­fied as a qual­i­fied ar­ti­san. In the near fu­ture, all trade test­ing in South Africa will be reg­u­lated by na­tional trade test reg­u­la­tions is­sued un­der sec­tion 26D(5) of the Skills Devel­op­ment Act that are ap­pli­ca­ble to all trade test cen­tres whether they are op­er­ated by pri­vate, govern­ment or state-owned com­pa­nies.

Step 7: As­sur­ance and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion

Qual­ity as­sur­ance will be built into each step of the pro­gramme. It is there­fore not an iso­lated ac­tiv­ity fo­cus­ing on the fi­nal ex­ter­nal as­sess­ment or trade test­ing only, but is im­ple­mented right from the qual­i­fi­ca­tion devel­op­ment, learner se­lec­tion, ac­cred­i­ta­tion and de­liv­ery pro­cesses. The cur­rent prac­tice in which a range of sec­tor-based trade cer­tifi­cates are is­sued in South Africa has been phased out and the devel­op­ment through the na­tional ar­ti­sanal mod­er­a­tion body un­der del­e­ga­tion from the Qual­ity Coun­cil for Trades and Oc­cu­pa­tions will en­sure that only na­tional ar­ti­san trade cer­tifi­cates are is­sued.

PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES / THINKSTOCK

HANDS-ON SA pro­duces about 12 000 qual­i­fied ar­ti­sans a year, but by 2030 the coun­try needs to pro­duce at least 30 000

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