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Shop Fitter
Shop fitting is one of the creative trades in the building industry. Shop fitters make, assemble and fit display boards, showcases, counters, shelves and cupboards in shops or businesses.

They interpret interior designers' or architects' drawings to determine the exact specifications and order the required quantities and types of material. They shape the wood and fittings using power tools in a machine shop or with hand tools at the workbench. They build, assemble and fit these components into the required positions. They paint, stain or polish the finished articles and add the necessary trimmings.

Some shop fitters manufacture metal fittings such as grilles, banisters and hand rails in a metal shop, and fit these where required. They are sometimes also required to perform minor repairs on fittings.

Satisfying Aspects
- challenge of each new job
- variety of work situations and projects
- opportunities to be creative
- being able to work independently
- earning more money with overtime
- possibility of setting up own business

Demanding aspects
- working overtime or under pressure
- responsibility of cutting materials accurately to avoid waste
- the physical demands of the job

A shopfitter should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- be versatile;
- have an artistic approach to the work;
- work accurately and neatly;
- be responsible;
- able to work without supervision;
- have deftness and good eye-hand coordination;
- have reasonable physical stamina and strength.

School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate
Some employers prefer higher qualifications.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics
Recommended Subjects: Mechanical Technology, Engineering and Graphic Design

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.

- Construction firms in the building industry
- Private companies
- Self-employment, with enough skill and entrepreneurship, can start own business

BIFSA Head office    
Construction Park
234 Alexandra Avenue
P O Box 1619
Halfway House, 1685
Tel: (011) 205-9000

Tel: (011) 265-5900
Fax:(011) 265-5924