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The impact of skills shortage in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry in the Western Cape
Lubbe, Thomas Arnoldus
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This thesis examined the impact skills shortage among artisans in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) field have on the industry. The rationale for this investigation is based on the view of engineers and company owners in the HVAC industry that there is a dire need to train more artisans and to improving the skills of already qualified artisans. The thesis employed a mixed method research approach and reviewed relevant literature. Empirical data was obtained from HVAC contracting companies being members of the South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) in the Western Cape. The study demonstrates that there is a shortage of skilled and qualified artisans in the HVAC industry. Although there are individuals within the HVAC industry who are passionate about training, their efforts cannot supply the whole industry with knowledgeable qualified artisans. More emphasis should be placed on basic education, the level of artisan training, continuous training of qualified artisans and the retention of skilled artisans. Based on the findings, the study concluded that skilled artisans and poor quality workmanship is being experienced on a continuous basis. The lack of skilled artisans and the cost implication to obtain skilled artisans force companies to employ unskilled labour. It is recommended that the industry should work closer with government agencies to ensure that training being offered by private training institutions and colleges is aligned with the industry requirements. This together with an improved education system will secure skilled artisans.