Back row: Michael Mogagabe & Corle Grobler – Head of HR and BBBEE at SKF with artisans who received their Mechanic Artisan Certificate

SKF SA has awarded Mechanic Artisan Certificates to the first group of 20 artisans who have successfully passed the Lubrication Equipment Qualification. SKF South Africa is a QCTO (Quality Council of Trades and Occupation) approved Skills Development Provider and Trade Test Centre capable of conducting specialised mechanical engineering training, apprenticeship training, ARPL assessments and trade testing for mechanical fitter and lubrication equipment mechanic trade qualifications.

Nationally recognised by the QCTO, this new Occupational Qualification places the qualified artisans in the advantageous position of being able to take up the occupation of Lubrication Analyst and Condition Monitoring. Additionally, they may enrol for Machine Lubricant Analyst and Machinery Lubrication Technician courses provided by the International Council of Machinery Lubrication (ICML). 

SKF Human Resource Professional, Michael Mogagabe, also points out that employees with experience in the lubrication field now have a nationally registered portable qualification related to their field. “Moreover, they will be able to learn further, move onto other registered qualifications and, in so doing, we would have achieved the objective of life-long learning.” 

A world first

The development of the artisanal qualification, which is open to South African and non-South African citizens, was prompted by the fact that a South African registered qualification related to the automated lubrication field did not exist. Although there are advanced practices in various countries, there is no qualification comparable to this one, making the Lubrication Equipment Mechanic Qualification a world first!

All big machinery and equipment imported into South Africa by sectors such as mining, printing, food & beverage, agriculture, steel, wind turbine, cement and transport are equipped with a standard automated lubrication system. “It is the responsibility of the qualified Lubrication Equipment Mechanic Artisan to repair, maintain, install and commission these lubrication systems.

Two-day trade test

The two-day trade test is conducted at SKF’s Test Centre in Jet Park, Johannesburg, which has the capacity to offer pre-assessments and training facilitation for twelve candidates at any given time. Comprising over 400m² of both practical and theoretical areas, the centre is fully equipped with all lubrication systems training panels fitted with lubrication equipment, specialised lubrication tools, an electrical testing training panel, work benches, drilling and grinding machinery as well as hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic lubrication equipment and pumps. 

The curriculum of the two-day trade test contains the following key content: Hand skills, lubrication theory, lubrication systems repair, maintenance, installation and commission, lubrication equipment repair, maintenance, installation and commissioning.  Single line, two line, progressive and spray oil/grease lubrication systems as well as oil circulation systems are applied in the course. 

“We also offer Artisan Recognition of Previous Learning (ARPL) pre-assessment and training continuously throughout the year to enable people with experience in the lubrication field to have a qualification,” Michael adds. Successful candidates who need in-depth specialised knowledge and skills can also take a refresher course in Lubrication Equipment and Systems specialised training. The training sessions are tailored to meet each person’s needs.

Eight years in the making

The development of the Artisanal Qualifications took some eight years of hard work and dedication by the technical working group. Spearheaded by Michael, the team including representatives from companies involved in the lubrication field as well as training providers were appointed to develop the trade test tasks and national assessment instruments. Some group members were responsible for the development of the Lubrication Equipment Mechanic qualification and curriculum with this being facilitated by the Department of Higher Education and Training under Artisan Development. 

“We are also pleased to announce that currently fifteen Apprentices who are registered on the Lubrication Equipment Mechanic qualification are in the process of completing their basic workplace learning at various customer sites,” Michael concludes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *