Instrument techies pass with honours

Sithandiwe Velaphi

The Goodyear company is determined to improve the engineering skills pool and has received a boost with the successful qualification of new apprentices in Uitenhage recently.

Instrumentation technician at Goodyear, Everton Fischer, is one of just two people to have qualified in this field of engineering in the Eastern Cape in the past few years, after being trained through Goodyear’s apprentice school.

Goodyear plant engineer Titch Booth said the company had closed its original school in 1995 after the government withdrew funding, but had reopened it after noting the resulting nationwide shortage of critical industry skills.

“We needed electronic and instrument mechanicians at Goodyear’s factory in Uitenhage, but there were none to be found and no suitable courses were available.

“We realised in 2008 that we would have to provide our own training. This group of candidates is the first to have successfully passed their trade tests,” Booth said.

“Fischer is an exceptional talent, developed and nourished by Goodyear. We are proud of his achievements and pleased to have him on board in a permanent position from this year. Not only did he pass his trade test certificate after three years instead of the usual four, but he also achieved the highest marks in the country,” Booth added.

Fischer and the other successful candidate, Pheliswa Kohliso, were the only two apprentices registered outside Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. “This underscores the serious shortage in the Eastern Cape. There is simply nobody offering instrument mechanician training, other than Goodyear,” Booth said.

Fischer said: “Growing up, I always loved machines and went to a technical high school. My long term goal is to complete the government certificate of competence and qualify as an engineer. I love the tyre industry. This is where I see a long-term career unfolding.”


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