South Africa’s ageing population of paint technologists makes the training of new professionals in the coatings industry imperative, says Tara Benn, executive director of the South African Paint Manufacturing Association (SAPMA). The pandemic, coupled with disruptions and the closure of the government-sanctioned training that was previously available from SAPMA, has shifted the corporate focus away from investing in training and its long-term benefits. 

Skills shortage 

With many of the country’s leading paint chemists leaving the industry or heading for retirement, the training of new technologists has never been more important. 

Benn explains that properly trained technologists can control the paint production process, including equipment operation, material handling and workflow optimisation. They can identify bottlenecks, troubleshoot issues, and implement best practices to improve efficiency and productivity. Those staff can minimise downtime, reduce waste and streamline operations, leading to cost savings for their companies. 

Quality and consistency 

Trained paint production staff have learnt about the ingredients, mixing ratios and techniques involved in producing paint that meets the desired specifications. Proper training helps minimise variations in colour, texture and performance, resulting in consistent cost-saving quality across batches. 

BCF courses 

SAPMA offers members of the coatings sector high-level training and provides some of the world’s most respected training through its association with the British Coatings Federation (BCF) Coatings Training Institute. The BCF range of training courses covers different aspects of coatings technology, including paint manufacturing, surface preparation, application techniques, coatings chemistry and quality control.  

“We have had exceptionally positive feedback from students who have completed the BCF modules with SAPMA. A student in Cape Town, for example, completed no fewer than six modules last year,” concludes Benn. 

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to www.sapma.org.za for the information in this editorial.

Issue: A shortage of trained paint technologists in South Africa. 
Solution: Trained technologists can save costs and improve performance. SAPMA offers members of the coatings sector high-level training. 

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