Plumbing Africa August 2018 - Page 39

BUSINESS AND TRAINING 37 He explains that the training is run on a sound commercial business model. “The speciality courses offered fall out of the SAQA recognised courses, so no government learnership grants can be obtained. To address this in the future, we have drafted a training standard for HDPE drainage and this is currently with industry for comment. We hope to have this approved by our industry body IOPSA, PIRB, and then finally SAQA for incorporation into the plumbing certificate, either as mandatory or elective credits. The training model, De Fine says, is based on a two-year development and mentorship programme, plus another year to do the plumbing learnership qualification. “During the two-year period, most of the skills required for this extra year are covered. The goal is to achieve qualified plumbers within their chosen speciality.” MODEL ROLL-OUT The process for the training model’s roll-out proceeds as follows: Promotion of trades — selection of possible candidates — interviews and assessment — week one: basic skills training, orientation, induction and selection — those that make it through their medicals move on to week two — Co-operatives, finance, drawings, take offs, health and safety, communications, HR — week 9/10: workplace experience starts through the partnership with a plumbing contractor — week 11/12: workplace experience on rotation — weeks 13–104: working on projects for plumbers on an outcome basis as a proper level 1 BEE company. MENTORING PROGRAMME During weeks 9–12, each student is on a rotation basis and spends one day a week back at the training centre for additional training interventions. According to De Fine, weeks 13–104 are an ongoing mentorship on site in all aspects of running a plumbing company, including financial controls, making payments, and profit and loss. The last year is combined with the speciality training and preparing for the trade test. During the three-year period, all plumbers that make it to week 13 will be mentored and will operate as a sustainable business. The students receive a stipend for the periods week one to week eight. In week nine to 12, they receive a full stipend. From week 13 to week 17, they receive 50% of the stipend and earn money from the contract on an outcome basis. From week 18 onwards they earn as they learn and no stipend is paid. “The learning experience, process, procedures, and progress are monitored through the paperless project management system, Max- form. This process allows the training team to identify weaknesses and positive areas. It also allows for sponsors and funders to monitor the success and return on investment of each student,” concludes De Fine. Continued on page 39 >> August 2018 Volume 24 I Number 6