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I have a BTech in Mechanical and wanted to find out if I'd be allowed to pursue my GCC factories

In previous posts, I managed to discuss:

The above content is "generic" and requires that you swift through the information to find out what really applies to your specific case.


So, I thought I should personalise the GCC factories' requirements.


Let me start with applicants with a BTech in mechanical engineering.


I think the most significant confusion comes within the subject requirements and I will address this matter in detail.


Here are the summary GCC factories requirements for BTech mechanical engineering candidates:


1. You must be at least 23 years of age


Ok, this one is simple, open your Identity Document (ID). Take the difference between your year of birth & the application year. If the difference is less than 23, you do not meet this requirement and should wait till you meet the minimum age requirement.


You will need to submit a certified copy of your ID or Passport to demonstrate that you meet this requirement. Make sure that the ID certification is not done longer than three months from submitting your application.


2. You must illustrate good conduct during the course of your career


Complete the letter of sobriety and get it signed by your employer.




3. You must have a National Higher Diploma (T4) or National Diploma (S4) in mechanical engineering


You have to be in the position of a National Diploma to start with your BTech in the first place. So it goes without saying that BTech carrying a candidate meets this requirement.


4. You must at least have 2 years post-graduate experience in maintenance and operations of mechanical or electrical machinery (to the satisfaction of the Commission of Examiners)


This is were the experience record, and letter of experience comes in. In these two documents, you need to clearly articulate the work YOU carried out that relates to maintenance and operation.



So, what type of maintenance & operation work is considered appropriate? Examples of proper maintenance & operation work include:

  • Planning and execution of preventative maintenance activities e.g., vibration monitoring, oil monitoring, period plant visual inspections, ensuring machinery is operated within agreed parameters, etc.

  • Locating sources of problems by observing mechanical devices in operation, using precision measuring and testing instruments.

  • Planning and execution of removal of defective parts or machinery from the plant.

  • Carrying out quality control during the repair or manufacture of parts or machinery.

  • Developing parts or machinery specifications.

  • Ensuring compliance of part or machinery to specifications, standards, and regulations.

  • Control downtime by monitoring Mean Time Between Failures and taking corrective actions.

  • Ensure there are sufficient spares available for critical equipment.

  • Prepare mechanical maintenance reports.

  • Plan and execute plant or machinery overhauls.

  • Ensure that plant is operated safely and good housekeeping is maintained.

If you are in doubt that your experience is appropriate, I will advise that you submit your application to the Department of Employment and Labour Commission of Examiners. This way, you will receive a comprehensive response to your eligibility. It may take anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks to get an answer from the Department of Employment and Labour.


5. Must have at least 1-year experience in a factory


This one year experience in a factory could be part of the 2 years post qualification experience.

You will indicate your experience in a factory by stating it in your letter of experience letter. In the letter, make sure you clearly state the type of environment you are working in e.g., I worked at Eskom Majuba Power Station...

What type of working environments may be considered meeting the requirements of working in a factory environment? Here are a few examples:

  • Working in a power station e.g. Eskom generation, Sasol boiler plant, Tongaat Boiler plant etc.

  • Working in a chemical processing plant e.g., Sasol, BASF, SAB, etc.

  • Working in a fabrication plant e.g., Arcelormittal, John Thompson Boilers, etc.

  • Working in an FMCG plant e.g., Unilever, Nestle, P&G, etc.

The critical aspect of this requirement is that the environment needs to be a production or manufacturing environment, and you must be responsible for ensuring that the mechanical machinery is operating correctly and maintained.


6. Your national higher diploma or national diploma curriculum needs to cover the plant engineering syllabus. You must have passed all subjects by at least 50%


Here comes the confusion. Firstly, a national higher diploma or national diploma applicants do not need to complete "GCC factories subjects." The requirements from the Department of Employment and Labour your "Technikon" to certify the following:

You can prove all of the above from just your statement of results. First of all, your statement of results will provide all the subjects. The institution only needs to confirm that in a letter.


Secondly, your statement of results will have your marks. If you got less than 50%, then you have to redo the subject.


And lastly, you can attach your diploma certificate. This is because the requirement to get your certificate is that you pass all your subjects and complete the required practical training.


What about your BTech?


Frankly speaking, a BTech in mechanical engineering really does not matter for the GCC factories. It is not a qualification that necessarily increases your chance of getting the GCC factories' acceptance letter.


The next step you should complete is to learn more about:

If you are in doubt that your experience is appropriate, I will advise that you submit your application to the Department of Employment and Labour Commission of Examiners. This way, you will receive a comprehensive response to your eligibility. It may take anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks to get an answer from the Department of Employment and Labour.

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I fully agree that one needs to apply. I was in a similar situation where 2 institutes had done an evaluation of my qualifications and had stated that I needed to register for a few subjects on the N6 level. Both were not consistent and did not make any sense as I had covered the content already in my qualification for my degree. I applied and was accepted to write which saved me time and money in not having to do those extra subjects.

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