SAPMA set to build training centre

Mandy Linossi, SAPMA Training Administrator, says a new coatings industry Training Centre will be established in Bedfordview at SAPMA and SAPITI’s current operating base.

Mandy Linossi, SAPMA Training Administrator, says a new coatings industry Training Centre will be established in Bedfordview at SAPMA and SAPITI’s current operating base.

The South African Paint Manufacturing Association (SAPMA) is planning to establish a new permanent facility for its training arm.

The new training centre will be built on site at 16 Nicol Road, Bedfordview, SAPMA and SAPITI’s current operating base.

“We are planning to open the new SAPITI Training Centre in August this year. The new facility is vitally needed to uplift the skills of the entire coatings sector which SAPITI is already successfully offering. But the time had come for us to move away from the present arrangement where the practical side of the training is offered at the premises of benevolent SAPMA members. The practice of bringing students employed by competitors to rival coatings producers’ and suppliers’ premises is not ideal and we therefore cannot wait for our new, independent Training Centre to be built and opened,” Linossi stated.

Deryck Spence, Executive Director of SAPMA, says SAPMA accreditation from The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), a governmental Quality Council established in 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act, is pending. The proposed accreditation has been published in the Government Gazette for comment. QCTO’s role is to oversee the design, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF). “In addition to QCTO accreditation, we now have to strive for similar accreditation for SAPITI so the new Training Centre will be designed and prepared to comply with all the QCTO requirements for accreditation,” Spence explained.

The SAPITI Training Centre will offer multi-faceted Coatings Technology practical training in a specially designed laboratory fitted with equipment to match the SAPITI curriculum. The Centre will also house a new SAPITI inter-active video conferencing studio to provide coatings training for the retail sector. “This web-based training will enable SAPITI to raise the standard of professionalism, technology and practical knowledge of retail sales and advisory staff to grapple back control of the retail market from mass merchandisers who have commoditised paint in an alarming fashion,” says Spence, adding, “It will also provide the retail market with the training it now urgently needs to comply with Consumer Protection Act legislation.”

Spence said that the paint contracting market was, sadly, not committed, despite SAPMA providing all that was required to train their staff, in uplifting the skills of the paint applicators they employ. The consumer would in future at least gain some respite by obtaining advice on the correct methods of paint application from qualified retail sales staff. “Perhaps some of these apathetic contractors themselves will in future also be able to learn a fact or two from hardware sales staff,” he dryly observed.

The new SAPITI Training Centre will follow the demise of the SAPMA Centre of Excellence training facility for the coatings industry in Springs which, despite being welcomed as the first industry-dedicated training centre, had to shut doors within two years because of dismal support from the paint industry.

SAPITI’s new Training Centre will offer training programmes accredited by the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) and endorsed by the Department of Labour, as well as the Department of Higher Education and Training; and contain extensive facilities for both theoretical and practical training.

The paint technology modules to be offered at its new ‘in-house’ training centre will be in line with international standards and encourage the training of a wider spectrum of students to meet the government’s calls for the expansion of skills and job creation. The new Centre, which will have access to the internationally-respected British Coatings Federation (BCF) training modules, will offer technical tuition at advanced levels as well as for non-technical industry staff to improve their knowledge of coatings. BCF training is recognised by the City & Guilds Institute of London Institute which is accepted and respected worldwide.

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