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Automotive Trimmer
Automotive trimmers upholster motor vehicle seats, line their roofs, floors and door panels and also install windows, windscreens, backrest boosters, trimmings and leather coverings in the interiors of motor vehicles.

Automotive trimmers use tools and equipment such as scissors, needles, tongs, hammers, screwdrivers, and sewing machines. They first remove the door handles and then detach the upholstery and trimmings from the door panels, floor, roof and seats. Thereafter, they match, measure and cut new material to the required shape, size, and pattern and then upholster the parts concerned. Finally, they replace all hinges, handles, and other trimmings and perform any finishing touches that may be necessary to the interior of the vehicle. Automotive trimmers also check that the seats of the vehicle are fitted in the correct position. They may also work on the interior of vintage cars.

Because trimmers work mostly with new materials, the workshop is usually relatively clean and pleasant. Various machines and tools, such as various types of cringes (leather, synthetic leather and vinyl) and special sewing machines, are available and workshops are well lit and ventilated.

Satisfying Aspects
- being creative with one's hands
- working at a quick pace

Demanding aspects
- working under time constraints
- having to work under close supervision

An automotive trimmer should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- have a good colour sense;
- enjoy working creatively with their hands;
- be able to work quickly and accurately;
- work neatly and carefully;
- be able to work in a team;
- be reasonably strong to be able to pull material tightly over the frames;
- be dexterous;
- have steady hands and deft movements;
- have good eyesight and eye-hand coordination.

School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None

After the training period working for an employer in the motor industry, prospective automotive trimmers may qualify and register as tradesmen.

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.

- Large vehicle manufacturers
- Automotive body repairers
- Larger private garages and workshops
- Upholstery factories

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