Surface Finishing & Fabrication

Mario Pennisi has just returned from a successful training visit to Hong Kong where, as an independent expert, he trained participants from the Hong Kong Architectural Service Department and Housing Department, powder coatings producer marketing personnel, and some companies that are powder coaters or have interest in the technology. Many of the participants provide powder coated fabricated architectural components for some of the most prestigious projects in China.

The course cosnisted of four days of training as well as a lengthy competency based test including practiucal work on testing of coatings. 14 people were deemed competent and are issued with Certificates in Powder Coating Testing.

The course covered the following topics:

1 Safety

2 The Standards related to powder coatings

3 The Substrate

  • Corrosion
  • Identification of metal surfaces
  • Identification of soils
  • Incoming inspection (Inspection prior to processing)
  • Removal of soils
  • Pretreatment for powder coating
  • Abrasive Blasting
  • Conversion Coating
  • Drying

4 Powder Coating

  • Advantages of powder coating
  • Properties of powder coating
  • Equipment for applying powder
  • Air
  • Fluidization
  • The powder gun
  • Jigs and earthing
  • Maintenance
  • Application
  • Powder coating materials
  • Applying the powder
  • Curing Ovens
  • Repair of damaged powder coatings

5 Testing and Inspection

  • Visual
  • Cure/Film thickness
  • Adhesion/Mechanical properties
  • Corrosion Resistance/Weather Resistance

6 Quality Assurance

  • Inspection
  • Identify defects

7 Warranties

For more information contact


Traineeships are available in:

  • Powder Coating
  • Electroplating
  • Metal Finishing
  • Fabrication



The paperwork is done for you by the New Apprenticeship Centres (NAC's) set up by the government as a one-stop shop.

Training is also available on specific topics.


Training can be arranged as a ‘fee-for-service’ as well as within the government sponsored traineeship User Choice programme.

Some information on competency based training has been provided by one of the largest of the private Registered Training Organisations.

Competency Based Training and Flexible Delivery
Metal and Engineering Training Package
Mark Tuck-First Choice Training Institute

The delivery of Apprenticeship and Traineeship training in the Metal and Engineering sectors is now focused on the achievement of competence against a Nationally endorsed set of Competency Standards.

The competency standards can be packaged together to form qualifications. These qualifications include:

  • traineeships for production employees,
  • apprenticeships
  • higher engineering trades for tradespeople and
  • a traineeship and a Diploma for technical employees.

To achieve the required level of competence an apprentice or trainee must be able to demonstrate that they have the required practical skills and the underpinning knowledge content for that skill.

The Metal and Engineering Training Package (MEM98) contains competency standards, divided into specific industry sectors, eg

  • Foundation,
  • Core,
  • Fabrication,
  • Surface Finishing,
  • Mechanical, etc,

that allow for the achievement of qualifications within a trade calling or industry sector. They also allow for the tailoring of a training program to suit a specific enterprise need, eg an enterprise may fabricate, machine and surface finish their products. The training program will therefore reflect (as it should) that enterprises’ specific training needs and the job scope of each individual apprentice or trainee.

Training Delivery – What? Where, When? and How?
An exciting aspect of the new training arrangements is the availability of choice – What? Where? When? and How?. This choice is available to enterprises NOW.

The training package will allow the enterprise to choose what competencies are needed for the specific company, not chosen by bureaucrats located in ivory towers, as was the case in recent history. Therefore, the developed skills will be relevant to the enterprise within a recognised qualification framework, and purposely improve competitiveness and productivity in an ever-demanding global economic environment.

Training can be flexible
Under the User Choice concept, an employer and an employee has the right to select

  • the Registered Training Provider of their choice,
  • where the training takes place and
  • when it takes place.

Providing that the enterprise has access to a training room or office away from the actual workstation then theoretical aspects of the training can be conducted at the worksite. At all times, it should be remembered that government funded traineeship and apprenticeship training must take place during normal work hours. Training could therefore be delivered on a one-to-one case managed basis (at your worksite), or through a small group process or the more traditional classroom or block release process (away from your workplace) or any combination of each. (How)

With a requirement to achieve competence against a set outcome, a trainee or apprentice can be assessed at any stage or time. Achievement is not based on a time served basis. This ensures that those trainees and apprentices with advanced skills are not held back and those who need additional assistance are supported until competence is achieved.

Some advantages of flexible training are:

  • Application of learning immediately to live work based issues/tasks rather than a simulated one
  • Linking learning to productive tasks
  • Using valuable time and resources efficiently to achieve learning and projected outcomes
  • Bringing learning into the view of all in the workplace - colleagues, supervisors and managers
  • Encouraging participants to take responsibility for their own learning and what works best for them
  • Learning through doing with support and expert input at relevant times
  • Learning from the experience of learning
  • Transferring the learning process from one situation to a range of other situations.

To ensure the success of a flexibly delivered training programme a number of key factors must be achieved:

  • The development of an agreed action plan (Training Plan), that identifies the goals for the group or individual and the learning outcomes
  • The creation of a supportive, open and honest communication and learning climate
  • The Identification of an individual’s learning needs and a focus on developing required skills
  • The modelling of a work based learning methodology for staff training and development
  • A supportive employer