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Millers are responsible for the processing of different types of grain, particularly wheat and maize.

The wheat milling process consists of three stages, each with its specific type of machinery. The breaking, scraping and reduction processes take place during these stages. The process of maize milling is much the same as that of wheat, but not as many production stages are required. To ensure that the correct standard and quality are maintained, millers are required to test the products.

In addition millers supervise the work of mill workers. Today the milling process is highly mechanized. The task of millers consists chiefly of setting milling machines and supervising their operation. It is important that millers obey all the relevant health regulations. This will ensure a food product of the highest quality.

The wheat milling process consists of three stages:

- Control process: roller-mills with grooved rollers that rotate at different speeds and directions are used to crack the wheat-kernel open to remove as much of the bran from the endosperm (the flour) as possible

- Scraping process: here the pieces of bran that cling to the endosperm are removed

- Reduction process: the semolina in the endosperm is refined by means of smooth roller-mills and the remaining pieces of bran and seed are removed. The endosperm is then graded by sifting machines. If it is still not fine enough, the process is repeated

The procedure of maize-milling is basically the same as described above, except that the machines are set differently because the kernels are much bigger than wheat-kernels. The final products of maize milling aremealie-meal, samp, mealie rice and grits.

Millers usually work indoors in the machine rooms of commercial grain mills. Working conditions are, of necessity, clean. The machines usually make a lot of noise and ear-guards are worn. Millers work a maximum of 46 hours per week from Monday to Saturday, in shifts that do not exceed eight hours per day.

Satisfying Aspects
- good working conditions
- good remuneration
- favourable prospects in the milling industry

Demanding aspects
- the noise of the machines
- irritation of the nasal passages caused by fine particles of flour drifting in the air

A miller should have/be:
- certain amount of mechanical insight and technical ability
- interest in different grains and laboratory work
- alert, neat, accurate and careful worker
- communicate well with others
- sense of responsibility
- manual dexterity
- good eye-hand coordination
- good vision and colour discrimination
- good health and relatively strong

School Subjects
Grade 10 Certificate.
Some employers prefer higher qualifications.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Science
Recommended Subjects: None

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.

- Milling companies throughout the country

The Executive Director
The Grain Milling Federation
P O Box 7262
Centurion, 0046
Tel. (012) 663-1660 Fax: 086 615 7839