A maintenance assistant in the bottling plant at Graham Beck Wines, Raymond Weels started his pursuit of higher education in 2002, completing his mechanical and welding programmes. Graham Beck Wines regularly invests in its staff’s skills development and, after noting Raymond’s ability and enthusiasm to learn, his employer offered him the opportunity to study Electrical Engineering. Raymond didn’t hesitate to take on the challenge to formalise his practical experience in the electrical maintenance arena.
Raymond is now enjoying his journey of further growth. Nominated through his employer, he won in the Technical Operator category and was the Overall Winner of the Langeberg District Farm Worker Competition in 2016. A people’s champion and valued employee, Raymond is currently completing his CBMT in Electrical Engineering with False Bay TVET College.
Born in Beaufort West, Raymond grew up on a farm. From an early age, he displayed an artisan’s aptitude and curiosity for solving electrical problems and mending damaged machinery. He says his interest in electrical engineering was ‘sparked’ when he first repaired his parents’ electric stove.
Raymond is also ambitious, striving for manager status. He says, “My manager will call me if there is a problem on one of the machines. I will try to fix it. Many times I am able to solve the issue. If I am able to fix the problem, I feel more confident and my employer trusts me more.”
An upstanding member of the community of Robertson, Raymond is a preacher at his local church and an inspiration to the youth. Honest and humble in nature, he acknowledges the individuals who allowed and encouraged him to excel. He says, “False Bay TVET College can help you achieve your dreams. They believe in the students and teach us the best possible skills.”