SAPMA, the South African Paint Manufacturing Association, has trained over 6 000 employees in the coatings industry over the past 20 years through its training arm – the SA Paint Industry Training Institute (SAPITI). However, Deryck Spence, executive director of the association, has warned that the lack of government accredited training has become a major threat to the future of the coatings industry. Spence says there is a critical shortage of skills in the industry. “The pool of resources is shrinking and is simply not sustainable in the long term. There is apathy towards the training provided by SAPITI because of the lack of accreditation from the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA). SAPMA members all subscribe to government’s training levy but do not receive refunds or BBBEE points for non-accredited courses, despite the fact that the government offers no alternative training for the industry,” he says.