Apprenticeships – Kickstarting careers and driving success in motor body repair

Apprenticeships – Kickstarting careers and driving success in motor body repair

Apprenticeships – Kickstarting careers and driving success in motor body repair
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The future path to becoming a qualified panel beater or spray painter is looking brighter. In changing the way we talk about success and how it is achieved, particularly in terms of apprenticeships, we can produce more success for the motor body repair industry and its businesses.

The motor industry, in general, is ready for change. Especially in relation to education, career pathways and creating opportunities for future industry talent. In 2021 we saw more apprentices training to become qualified artisans across the country. 

Finding the balance between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’

In traditional settings, employers required university or college qualifications before considering a candidate for a job interview. Candidates who had taken different pathways of learning were excluded from exciting opportunities. Finally, this school of thought is moving on.  Apprenticeships and other relevant work experiences are being recognised more as equally acceptable ways to enter the job market. 

In the motor repair industry, apprenticeships are kick-starting exciting careers for many young people in South Africa. They are also opening doors for experienced individuals wanting to change their careers. In an interview with Lee de Sousa of Motus Technical Academy, he describes his pathway from apprentice to motor mechanic, foreman to Motus Academy Director as one example of where apprenticeships can take people.

Happily, this school of thought is moving in another direction and apprenticeship is gaining its rightful recognition

A Positive Return On Investment (ROI)

In a Stanford Graduate School of Business talk, Jack Armstrong addresses the need for employers to think differently. Specifically about potential candidates with non-traditional education backgrounds, such as those with work experience or apprenticeships. Armstrong says that it is clearer today than ever that pushing an academic-only approach is “disadvantaging people who learn better by doing”. Employers creating job opportunities for those with non-traditional backgrounds are finding a huge pool of talented individuals. They are also nurturing tomorrow’s talent and seeing a positive return on their investment.

He says that businesses building apprenticeship programs have seen a positive return on investment. In some cases within as little as 18 months. So although there is a need for investment upfront, the ROI will surely come to those who are committed to change.

Studies have shown that over 80% of businesses that employed apprentices found their productivity had increased as a result. Taking on an apprentice is a fantastic way of developing new talent. It is a bespoke approach, tailored to your businesses needs and goals. When well-recruited and guided through an apprenticeship, an apprentice can pay back the investment (and more) that the employer made during the apprenticeship period, and become very productive from year 2 onwards. 

Employing an apprentice is a highly cost-effective way to increase your workforce.

Within the motor body repair industry, more and more people are looking for apprentice or internship opportunities in panel beating and spray-painting. Find information and links to relevant merSETA, TVET and other training service provider pages by visiting the Apprenticeships page, here.

To view the full Stanford Graduate School of Business talk with Jack Armstrong, click below.

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This article has been updated and was originally posted on 30th March 2021.