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Platers (Boilermakers and Welders) build and repair structures of steel, plate and piping ranging from boilers for steam engines to minehead gears. 

They must be very skilled and responsible when they work.  This is because the containers they make or repair are used under high pressure, so any fault in the joints can cause accidents and serious injury.  Besides making sure that the container is built properly the plater must also make sure it is installed on site properly.  It is the plater's duty to attach rigging and to signal crane operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections and other parts into place.  Once installed the plater has to make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no cracks or leaks in the system.

The plater is also responsible for the cleaning and inspection of boilers to ensure that these boilers work effectively.  It is estimated that boilers last for a very long time.  The work is therefore mostly devoted to maintain and repair boilers.

The work can by noisy, hot and dangerous;  it can also mean working in small cramped spaces or near big heavy machinery.  The work may be challenging but enjoyable for someone who likes working with their hands and being able to solve problems.

Career Outlook

Starting off early and finishing your plater/welder learnership will usher you into a very satisfying career. Demand for plater/welder will likely only increase in the future, painting a bright picture for you once you complete a learnership. In the mean-time, you will be earning money while you learn.

Candidates must be in possession of or able to obtain a certificate of fitness.  They must be able and willing to work shifts, standby and call outs when required.

It is also expected from the candidate to be able to cope with pressure, be innovative & a self-starter as well as to identify faults without supervision .


- Large engineering works
- Large industrial plants
- Factories
- Mines
- Organisations such as Mittal, Eskom and Sasol

Institutional Training and Workplace Experience

The learner is engaged by the company, registered for training within 3 days and scheduled for basic training in co-operation with DSIH. The company issues the learner with a toolbox and protective clothing and gives the learner full induction training.

Year 1 - Basic Training
The learner attends basic training at DSIH as soon as possible after engagement, where the learner spends approximately 12 weeks and completes the modular basic skills training course as well as a course in first aid. At the end of the course and before returning to the mine the learner is issued with an on-job training programme.

On completion of basic training the learner returns to the employer where they will be placed under the supervision of an artisan / foreman who will ensure that the practical skills of the learner are further developed in accordance with the on-job training programme. The learner should complete approximately half of the compulsory assessments prior to attending advanced training at DSIH in their second year.

Year 2 - Advanced Training
During the learner's second year of learnership, the learner will be recalled to DSIH for approximately 12 weeks to do an advanced training course. 

Year 3 - Final Phase Training
During the third year of training the learner will be recalled for approximately 12 weeks to DSIH for final phase training just prior to the qualifying assessment.

Entry Requirements

It is assumed that candidates embarking on learning towards this qualification are in possession of a minimum Grade 12 with: 

Physical Science
Technical Drawing
Mechanical Engineering

N2 Technical qualification with relevant subjects i.e.:

- Mathematics
- Engineering Science
- Engineering or Plating Drawings
- Platers Theory