The Ombudsman for the Motor Industry has expressed concern
about the growing shortage of qualified technicians in the industry and has
called on both government and the industry to give even more attention to
addressing the situation.
“It is clear from the cases referred to our office that the shortage of skilled
technicians is having an impact on service levels and is leading to excessive
“head hunting” in some instances,” says Ombudsman Johan van Vreden. “While many
motor companies and trade associations like the RMI are focusing a lot of
attention on training technicians their efforts are often frustrated by the
poaching of personnel soon after they complete their training”.
“The industry should start thinking along the lines of contracting prospective
trainees for a set period after qualifying to ensure that they get value for
their investment in these people”.
“Also, very importantly, we need to look at the remuneration of trainee
technicians or apprentices in the trade to ensure that we draw the right quality
of people. The pay of a matriculated person becoming an apprentice technician
does not compare well with school leavers with similar qualifications in most
other types of employment. This also leads to technicians being lured away to
other jobs for insignificant increases”.
“Technicians form the backbone of a growing economy and qualified people in
these sectors need to be valued and not looked down upon for the menial
appearance of their occupation. Their contribution to the country’s welfare is
enormous,” says Van Vreden.
He added that the growing number of new motor vehicle companies entering the
market is placing a lot of urgency on attracting more technicians to the trade
and also giving some protection to those companies that are investing in
training. More importantly, these jobs and training opportunities should go to
South Africans rather than importing these much needed skills.
The Motor Industry Ombudsman of SA can be contacted on (012) 841-2945 or fax
your complaint to (012) 841-2842. You can also visit the Ombudsman’s web site at
www.miosa.co.za, or e-mail your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued by Ruben Els, Media Ignition, tel: 083 302 6602 on behalf of the Office
of the Motor Industry Ombudsman