Boiler Maker

Curriculum here


Curriculum here

These Qualifications are NAMB/QCTO accredited Qualifications at Johannesburg Institution of Engineering & Technology. Accreditation Accreditation Number: SDP1220/19/00370

671101Electrician3 YEARSR35,000 Per Year
651302Boiler Maker3 YEARSR35, 000 Per Year
651202Welder3 YEARSR35,000 per Year

How the Apprenticeship does programmes work?

  1. The apprentice is registered in a listed trade in terms of the prescribed training provisions.
  2. An agreement is signed by the employer and the apprentice (or a guardian if the apprentice is under 18 years of age).
  3. The apprentice is “indentured” (i.e., ‘contracted’ into an agreement) in a trade.
  4. A four-subject N2 certificate with the relevant trade theory must be completed at a TVET/ FET college. Employers pay for classes and assessment fees at the TVET /FET college.
  5. A trade test application is made once all relevant training has been completed.
  6. A trade test/assessment is conducted at an accredited trade test centre.
  7. If successful, the apprentice is awarded a National Trade Certificate and deemed to be a qualified artisan

What are the entry requirements for the apprenticeship programmes?

The entry requirements are not the same for all apprenticeships, as the type of trade will determine the required previous learning. Generally, the minimum entry requirements relate to age, language and subjects completed at school, as described below.

  • The person must be at least 16 years of age, but the maximum age is not stipulated.
  • Language proficiency must be on Grade 10 level.
  • Most apprenticeships stipulate fundamental knowledge in subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Technical Terminology or Drawing on at least Grade 10 level that was acquired through the school system or through programmes offered by the TVET colleges, e.g., NATED programmes or the NC (V);
  • Some apprenticeships accept learners who passed Grade 7 Math and Science.
  • Some employers only take in apprentices with Grade 12, irrespective of the stipulated entry requirements, and apply other criteria in selecting learners that meet internal organizational requirements; and
  • Many trades require applicants to meet physical requirements that are relevant to the trade, e.g., to pass medical health and physical fitness assessments. Such assessments are usually done by the employer

How long does it take to complete the training & work experience in an apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeship will take three years to complete. However, if the apprentice completed formal study or work experience relevant to the specific trade previously this could be assessed and taken into account to reduce the time taken to complete the apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship training plan will specify the periods for completing the components of the apprenticeship. For example, apprentices would need to complete a minimum of 122 weeks of training in the following areas before they can apply for a trade test:

  • 10 weeks of trade-related theory.
  • 32 weeks of off-the-job practical training to develop the skills to apply the tools of the trade; and
  • 80 weeks of on-the-job learning in a real workplace under supervision of a coach.

How does an apprenticeship work under an apprenticeship contract?

This process is summarized as follows – an apprentice:


  • Has signed an apprenticeship contract.
  • Attends formal training with a training provider.
  • Must have a workplace for completing prescribed on-site training.
  • Must complete all the prescribed tests, assignments, and workplace learning activities.
  • Will do a trade test as a final assessment; and
  • Will be certified as an artisan after successful completion of the trade test.


Here is a more detailed description of how an apprenticeship works.

The apprenticeship training consists of three components:


  • Formal training at a training institution covering the occupational knowledge of the trade that is contextualised to the specific tasks in the trade, such as fault finding, manufacturing, maintenance and repair.


  • Skills training in the application of the knowledge and the use of the tools of the trade in a workshop or simulated setting that could be at the training provider; and


  • The application of knowledge and skills during practical training at a workplace under the supervision of a coach who must be a qualified artisan in the specific trade.

Different routes of becoming an Artisan.

  • Apprenticeship contract: A person undergoes a structured training programmes for a specific trade to develop the required knowledge, theory, and practical skills and to complete the prescribed workplace experience under the guidance of a coach (who must be an artisan) over a period of three to four years. The term ‘apprentice’ is used in this website to refer to these learners. (They were previously referred to as ‘Section 13’ apprentices, on the basis of Section 13 of the Manpower Training Act of 1981, which has been repealed.)


  • National Certificate (Vocational): A person undergoes a structured training programmes for an NC (V) qualification for a specific trade to obtain the required theoretical, practical skills and supplementary training and exposure at a workplace.


  • National Accredited Technical Education Diploma (NATED): A person undergoes a structured training programmes towards this diploma that covers technical and theoretical knowledge, and the workplace knowledge and skills required in a chosen occupational/vocational area.


  • Engineering Learnership: A person enrols for an engineering learnership at NQF Level 4 and completes the required 80 weeks of workplace experience.


  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): A person provides proof of having obtained adequate theoretical and skills training and workplace experience (previously referred to as ‘Section 28’ applicants on the basis of Section 28 of the Manpower Training Act of 1981, which has been repealed). A process called Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) will be used for the listed trades.



People who have met all the requirements in any of these five routes can apply to do a trade test.

How to become an artisan through Recognition of Prior Learning – RPL

People who have many years of experience working in a job related to a trade and who meet certain educational requirements can apply for a trade test based on the knowledge and skills they have acquired. (This process is sometimes still referred to as ‘Section 28’, based on the Manpower Training Act which has been repealed.

The new process is called Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning, or ARPL.) They do not have to complete the programme described above for contracted apprentices and are not referred to as apprentices. Such applications for trade tests are processed through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process, which enables persons who meet the prerequisite learning and work experience for the trade test to enter a supported process to do the trade test.

The merSETA RPL trade test application form describes the conditions, process and requirements to qualify for a trade test on the basis of RPL, as well as the documents to be submitted with the application (


The form clarifies the qualifying criteria, which include the number of years of relevant work experience, the type and level of qualification, and the subjects (e.g., mathematics and engineering science).


The merSETA website also describes the following conditions under which former ‘Section 13’ apprentices can apply for a trade test through RPL:


  • Former apprentices who meet the Section 13 trade test requirements, but their contract got rescinded before qualifying as an artisan: and


  • Former apprentices under Section 13 whose contracts were terminated before they could qualify for a trade test; and either have proven eligibility for an Artisan RPL trade test based on acquired skills from the formal training part under Section 13 or have undergone additional approved training to meet the requirement.


The merSETA describes the RPL process for a trade test (this was previously known as a ‘Section 28’ application) as follows:


  • An application form is completed and signed by the applicant and forwarded to the respective merSETA regional office together with original certified copies of service certificates, educational certificates and identity documents.


  • A Quality Assurer (where necessary) would give guidance to the applicant in terms of undertaking a pre-assessment interview.


  • A subject matter expert (in the trade in the RPL application) at an accredited training centre/provider conducts a pre-assessment interview with the applicant, using the relevant training schedules as a tool for both theory and practice. The subject matter expert will provide a detailed formal evaluation report on the candidate.


  • If the applicant meets the requirements, the merSETA will apply for a trade test date and inform the applicant.


  • On successful completion of the trade test, the candidate will receive a national trade test certificate and is regarded as a qualified artisan.


Please note again that other Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) are likely to have different processes as they will deal with trades that differ from those that fall within the scope of the merSETA. In addition, the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) could introduce other processes and/or requirements.

Do apprentices receive money during apprenticeships?

Apprentices do receive wages for the hours they work for the employer, but the amounts are not the same for all apprenticeships. The rates of some apprenticeships are determined by the relevant Bargaining Council and are adjusted annually.

What are the funding arrangements for Apprenticeships?

There is no cost for the apprentice who completes an apprenticeship programme under an apprenticeship contract. Any costs for attending classes at a training provider will be covered by the employer.


Generally, the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) pays a grant to the employer to cover costs associated with an apprentice. However, you will have to fund your own training if you enrol for a programme at a TVET college or other training institution that prepares you for a trade (e.g., to be an electrician or welder) without being enrolled in an apprenticeship.

What is the Trade test & how do I apply for it & what do I get if I pass it?

Applying for the trade test


Once apprentices have successfully completed all the tests, assignments and practical requirements of the knowledge/theory and workplace learning of the apprenticeship, they can apply to do a trade test that serves as the external final summative assessment.


The trade test includes practical tasks that the apprentice must complete within a specified period determined by the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) for the specific trade. NAMB is the body responsible for monitoring and moderating all processes related to trade testing, which includes the registration of assessors and moderators, ensuring the quality of trade testing and making sure that the tests remain relevant to the needs of industry.


Applications to do a trade test can be submitted through the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) or its regional offices. The applications are reviewed against the stipulated criteria to ensure that all necessary evidence and documents are provided to qualify for the trade test. Should the evidence submitted be sufficient then the application for the trade test will be processed and forwarded to the trade test centre closest to the applicant. Applicants can also book for trade tests online at the National Artisan Development Support Centre (NADSC) at


Trade test centres.


The trade test is done at a centre that is accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) to conduct trade tests. Trade tests can be done at INDLELA – the government subsidized centre on Old Pretoria Road in Olifantsfontein – or in many other trade test centres across the country.


The cost of the trade test and who pays for it.


The cost of trade tests varies greatly as some trade test centres are operated as private businesses. The government subsidizes trade tests conducted at INDLELA, the test centre in Olifantsfontein near Pretoria.


The funding arrangement for the apprenticeship will be stipulated in the contract signed by the apprentice with the employer at the start of the apprenticeship. There are no stipulations relating to the payment for the trade test. The cost could be covered by the employer of the apprentice or by the relevant SETA. If no such funding is available, the apprentice will have to pay for the test.


Certification as an artisan


Apprentices who successfully complete the trade test will be certified as artisans and will receive a certificate issued by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). The certificate will indicate the qualification awarded and the trade. This certificate is commonly referred to as the “red seal”.


What processes are there to ensure the quality of trade testing?


The National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) is responsible for the monitoring, moderating and quality assurance of all processes related to trade testing. NAMB registers all assessors, moderators and others involved in the development of assessments and trade testing. NAMB also ensures that trade testing remains relevant to the needs of industry and that the apprenticeships enable learners to become competent artisans.


All accredited trade test centres report to the NAMB as per pre-determined requirements to enable the NAMB to monitor their performance. NAMB therefore acts as the ‘ombudsman’ for artisan development and any concerns relating to trade tests may be reported to it.