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During 2002 the Contractors Plant Hire Association was invited to take up a position with the Hire Chamber of the Services SETA to engage with the formulisation of training in the hire industry.

At this stage the Skills Development Act had been passed by Parliament and has for a long time been perceived as another "TAX". Many companies chose to pay the levy but misunderstood what it was really meant for. The Act in place was very clear in stating that a SETA would only engage with organised employer and organised labour constituencies. As the CPHA was the only Association in the hire industry we applied to become a Schedule 1 member of the Services SETA.

From the beginning it was recognised that in order to compile acceptable and meaningful material the stakeholders from the hire and construction industries would have to play a huge role.

From the beginning
Our Standards Generating Body (SGB) was formed, where all relevant industries took part and both employer and labour components were on board. The search for unit standards began. Whilst similar standards were found in other parts of the world it was clear that although these standards would help in the process of creating unit standards for South Africa, new standards would have to be written and implemented for our local conditions. At an early stage, certain aspects were high-lighted. Industry insisted that operators in the hire industry should be able to read and write, they should comply with the OHS Act, the Mines Health & Safety Act and should also comply with construction regulations.

The Hire Chamber engaged with the Construction SETA on the plant operator qualifications and after a lengthy process, the unit standards for all the machines hired out by the industry were finally written and registered on the National Qualifica-tions Framework (NQF)

As the industry insists on certain entry level requirements, it was decided to complete the process by writing the learning material and the necessary quality controls, so ensuring a process of uniformity in the industry. This process was completed and funded by the Hire Chamber of the Services SETA. This material is fully accredited by both Services SETA and the Construction SETA.

Simultaneously, it was identified that a qualification now existed, unique to the hire industry, that of the “Plant Controller” a position that is found in all plant hire companies. Again, the process of engagement had to be followed and finally standards and learning material have been developed, and the qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework.

The training path that we have chosen is not an easy one, and we will have many challenges' to overcome before we reach any upliftment in the industry. However one thing is certain unless we implement our minimum standards from the start, we will not achieve our goals.

It is of upmost importance to introduce training interventions that are as short as possible but still comply with the registered qualification and unit standards but essential not to sacrifice quality for the sake quantity and CPHA approved centres will operate with this goal in mind.

It has been estimated that there are between 28 000 and 30 000 currently employed operators in the market place, and each one will have to be found competent in compliance with the OHS Act, in order to operate a particular machine. Bearing in mind the criteria that industry has put in place and the fact that those currently employed operators cannot be removed from their place of work for any length of time, our programmes have been devised to ensure all the requirements are addressed. It was also identified that the full qualification would be best suited to new entrants to the industry rather than those already employed. The full qualification would still be available to currently employed operators. It is a 12 month programme consisting of a mixture of on-the- job training as well as training at one of our training centres. Skills programmes designed to take care of currently employed operators have been registered. These are selected shorter versions of the full qualification and form building blocks towards a full qualification.

Industry implemented criteria for taking part in training programmes:
1. Currently Employed operators (18.1 Learners)
A) Minimum of 12 months experience of the machine they operate.
B) Medically Fit
C) Letter from employer as proof of employment and stating that the learner has a minimum of 12 months experience on the machine to be assessed

2. New Entrants (18.2 Learners)
A) Grade 9 (standard of education)
B) Medically Fit
C) Code 10 Drivers Licence or equivalent

How training will take place:
Once the required documentation has been received all learners will undertake a medical examination given by an OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) practitioner and if found medically fit will then proceed to undertake a LAB (Learning Abil-ity Battery) assessment. The LAB assessment will assess the operator for: Hand-eye coordination, claustrophobia, vertigo and will also identify if the learners level of literacy and numeracy.

A.Learners will proceed to undergo training as prescribed on a registered skills programme and should not take longer than seven days. This training will include eight OHS Unit Standards and the chosen elective (machine to be assessed on).

B. Learners will proceed with a full qualification and will be required to attend a CPHA approved training programme at an approved training centre full time for a period of approximately one month.

Process Flow on Plant Operations Skills Programme NQF Level 2 below:

The Site Certificate

Once training has been completed the CPHA will issue an “industry site licence” reflecting the unit standards achieved for both OHS and elective components. In the event of all unit standards being achieved a site licence will be valid for two years or only I year in the case of unit standards still to be done.

All achievements will be uploaded to the relative SETA once a minimum of a skills programme has been achieved. In addition to this the competent learner will be registered on a National database administered by the Contractors Plant Hire Association.

As the CPHA is the recognised schedule 1 organisation registered with the Hire Chamber of the Services SETA, all budgets are administered by the Association and all employers who pay their SDL (Skills Development Levies) to the Services SETA are entitled to subsidised training.

Skills Programmes (Plant Operations Level 2)

Core 110075 Apply basic fire fighting techniques Level 1 3
Core 114219 Demonstrate an understanding and implement environmental initiatives on a construction activity Level 2 4
Core 9964 Apply health and safety to a work area Level 2 3
Core 9966 Establish and prepare a work area Level 2 4
Core 14656 Demonstrate an understanding of sexuality and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS Level 1 5
Core 9965 Render basic first aid Level 2 3
Core 14560 Handle, transport, store and utilize hazardous materials on a civils construction site Level 2 5
Core 116154 Demonstrate knowledge of, and apply regulatory requirements, pertaining to plant operations Level 2 5
Elective 116130 Operate a dragline Level 2 24
Elective 116078 Operate a grader Level 2 26
Elective 116146 Operate a hot mix asphalt paving machine Level 2 8
Elective 116142 Operate a milling machine Level 2 8
Elective 116140 Operate a paving screed Level 2 6
Elective 116097 Operate a rigid body dump truck Level 2 16
Elective 116089 Operate a roller Level 2 8
Elective 116071 Operate a scraper Level 2 20
Elective 116075 Operate a sideboom Level 2 8
Elective 116210 Operate a skid steer loader Level 2 16
Elective 116067 Operate a tip truck Level 2 6
Elective 116058 Operate a tracked dozer Level 2 24
Elective 116177 Operate a tractor Level 2 6
Elective 116330 Operate an articulated dump truck Level 2 16
Elective 116333 Operate a backhoe loader (TLB) Level 2 20
Elective 116135 Operate bitumen and bitumen spray equipment Level 2 5
Elective 116132 Operate a continuous bucket trencher Level 2 8
Elective 116047 Operate an excavator Level 2 20
Elective 116054 Operate a face shovel Level 2 24
Elective 116102 Operate a front end loader Level 2 16
Elective 116085 Operate a service truck Level 2 10
Elective 116073 Operate a water cart Level 2 6
Elective 116045 Operate a wheeled dozer Level 2 20

Registered Learnerships

Title NQL Level Reg No
Hiring Support Services NQF Level 3 23Q230059381263
Hiring Operations NQF Level 4 23Q230060361294
Plant Operation NQF Level 2 05Q050078521342

Where to Obtain your training
All enquiries should be directed to the national office of the Contractors Plant Hire Association (CPHA)

PO Box 14662, Farrarmere, Benioni, 1518

Tel: 011 420-1942 / 1955
Fax: 088 011 420 1940

For more information please contact Clive Wicks (CEO CPHA) - Email: ceo@cpha.co.za

Learnership: Hiring Services and Support: National Qualifications Level 3
The purpose of this learnership is to build the knowledge and skill required by the plant operator at an entry level and to multi-skill employees already in the industry to provide a platform for further development.

The learnership is intended to empower the previously disadvantaged individuals to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to operate plants such as rollers, sidebooms, tip trucks, track dozers, dump trucks, wheeled dozers etc.

Successful completion of the learnership will lead to a learner acquiring a nationally recognised qualification and the learner will be registered as a plant operator as per South African Legislation on plant operation.

Rotation Schedule
Ideally learners will spend a day per week at a training institute and then practical on-the-job experience will be gained at the workplace (depending on the specific industry demands).

Credits to be earned as follows:
- Through workplace assessment (90 credits) - 70%
- Through structural learning (30 credits) - 30%

The training required by the learnership will be workplace based. Theoretical learning will take place at an ap-propriate venue selected by the employer and the training provider. This training will be during the normal workday and the employer must ensure that learners are able to attend all training activities.

Note: Please note that the above information is correct as at 01/2011 and is subject to change based on the annual qualification review.

Fundamental Learning Credits

- Access and use information from texts
- Apply basic knowledge of statistics and probability to influence the use of data and procedures in order to investigate life related problems
- Demonstrate understanding of rational and irrational numbers and number systems
- Identify, describe, compare, classify, explore shape and motion in 2 and 3 dimensional shapes in diffrent contexts
- Maintain and adapt oral communication
- Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes
- Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal and community life
- Work with a range of patterns and solve problems
- Write for a defined context

Core Learning Credits

- Apply basic fire fighting techniques
- Demonstrate and understanding of sexuality and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS
- Apply health and safety to a work area
- Apply productivity principles on a construction site
- Apply quality principles on a construction site
- Demonstrate an understanding and implement enviromental initiatives on a construction site
- Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of earthworks
- Demonstrate knowlege of and apply regulatory requirements pertaining to plant operation
- Demonstrate knowlege of civil construction works
- Demonstrate mechanical awareness and plant appreciation
- Describe the construction industry composition, its work procurement systems and communicaton techniques
- Establish and prepare a work area
- Handle, transport, store and utilise hazardous materials on a civil constuction site
- Maintain recored on a constuction site
- Plan, organise and mange oneself in the organisation
- Render basic first aid
- Adhere to disiplinary code
- Follow grievance procedure. Foster and maintain customer relations

Elective Learning Credits

- Operate a dragline
- Operate a grader
- Operate a hot mix asphalt paving machine
- Operate a milling machine
- Operate a paving screed
- Operate a rigid body dump truck
- Operate a roller
- Operate a scraper
- Operate a slideboom
- Operate a skid steer loader
- Operate a tip truck
- Operate a wheeld dozer

Training Form
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SDL Number
Type of Operator Training required
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