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Automotive Sheet Metal Worker
Automotive sheet metal workers cut and shape sheet metal components into the correct forms and sizes for the bodywork of vehicles.

Automotive sheet metal workers cut and rivet sheet metal, applying heat treatment. They finish off the sheet metal by joining, filing, sanding and smoothing
it down. They use electrical and gas welding techniques to join soft steel of different thickness.

Automotive sheet metal workers often have to draw plans, according to which the parts are cut and put together. It is important that the components fit together exactly. They need to know about the qualities of different metals, since decisions must be made as to the correct type of metal to be used.

They usually work indoors in a workshop and mostly at a bench. Neon or indirect lighting is often used to soften the glare reflecting from the bright surface of the sheet metal. The work is of a relatively clean nature. The hammering of the metal sheets causes some noise.

Satisfying Aspects
- working with your hands
- being able to see the results of your work

Demanding aspects
- the possibility of injury while on the job
- working in a noisy environment
- sometimes limited job opportunities

An automotive sheet metal worker should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- like to work with his hands;
- have mathematical aptitude, since geometrical principles are constantly applied;
- have knowledge of and be interested in metals, since decisions must be made as to the correct type and quality of metal to be used;
- be able to work accurately and neatly;
- possess good hand and finger dexterity;
- have good eye-hand coordination;
- have good health and physical fitness;
- have good vision and colour discrimination;
- have manual dexterity.

School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate.
Some employers prefer higher qualifications.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics

There are three ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a 4-year contract between company and apprentice, comprising a 12-week theoretical training, which includes 4 subjects at national exam level.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme that leads to a qualification in a certain field. The learnership programme includes a theoretical and a practical component. It usually takes about a year to complete. The training takes place on-site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets on-the-job experience whilst training.

3. FET colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (this NCV) similar to the
new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.

All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a FET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest FET College. FET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MERSETA or CHIETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.
Learners must all receive training in occupational safety and first aid, fire-fighting and preventative security measures. Learners study everything about the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment. They must also become familiar with municipal legislation relevant to electricity supply and consumption.

- Motor vehicle manufacturers
- Bus body building companies
- Automotive body repair shops

3rd Floor, Block B
Metropolitan Park,
8 Hillside Road,
Parktown, 2001
Tel: (011) 551-5202 Fax: 0866 730017