AMAZING OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNGSTERS: Porsche has launched its Porsche Aftersales Vocational Education programme in SA from June 2017. Image: Porsche AG
Johannesburg - Come July 2017, Porsche will begin its brand new initiative to help socially disadvantaged youngsters in South Africa with its Porsche Aftersales Vocational Education programme. This means 25 students will be trained and be placed in a job at Porsche, or one of its sister companies in the group at Audi, VW or Bentley.
The programme will be based in Cape Town and focus mainly on underprivileged youngsters from areas such as the Cape Flats.
Porsche says: "A total of 75 young men and women will be given the opportunity to train as service mechatronics at the new Porsche Training and Recruitment Center in South Africa across three academic years.
"This training will unlock career opportunities for young adults, not only at Porsche itself, but also with other brands in the VW Group."
The programme, says Porsche, is specifically designed to cover a wide range of topics, in order to provide trainees with a broad spectrum of opportunities. This project is being organised in association with Don Bosco Mondo e.V. together with its Don Bosco Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) in Cape Town and the Porsche importer in South Africa, LSM Distributors. The three parties have signed an official memorandum of understanding on Wednesday (November 30) at the Porsche Centre in Johannesburg.
Toby Venter, owner of LSM Distributors, says: “A well-founded education is the key to success. Sadly, there are still too many people in this country who drop out of their course because they don't see any prospects for them at the end of their training.
"We want to encourage them and accompany them each step of the way. I am confident that they will emerge from the comprehensive 24-month training programme with a stronger sense of self-confidence that will enable them to seize the opportunities that come their way.”
Toby Venter, CEO of Porsche and Bentley SA. Image: Porsche AG
Porsche South Africa has been very successful over the years. Venter claims the company has grown from selling only 27 cars in 1995 to 1400 units in 2016.
Venter also adds that Porsche SA has trained 76 apprentices over the past 21 years. All whom have been employed by Porsche. Some of them have even achieved higher statuses within Porsche's development programmes to further their education and be promoted to other levels in the business.
How will it work
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested can apply for the training programme.
There are three different routes onto the training programme, depending on the applicant's qualifications:
1. If an applicant is already sufficiently qualified for vocational training, he or she can access the two-year service mechatronic training programme directly.
2. Any applicants who do not possess the required qualifications can complete a six to eight week life skills training course at the Don Bosco Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP).
3. If an applicant is lacking basic skills, he or she will be given the opportunity to complete a year-long vocational preparation course to prepare them for the working world. This option will be available to up to 50 people per year and will enable them to make significant progress in their personal development.
Heavyweight champions unite
The idea for the project was initiated by Uwe Hück, chair of the Porsche AG Group Workers Council, in November 2015, when he took part in a charity boxing match against SA's Francois 'The white buffalo' Botha - a former kickboxer and professional boxer.
Both men wanted to give hope to disadvantaged young people. Huck says: “It is always worth fighting for your opportunities. When you do this, you can achieve anything.”
Hück and Botha both want to donate the proceeds of the rematch they agreed to back in 2015 – which will take place round about March 2017 in South Africa – to local social projects.
The educational project in South Africa forms part of an umbrella initiative which Porsche offers its international vocational training programme for After Sales.
The project is spearheaded by the “Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia” in Manila, where socially disadvantaged young people have trained as service and bodywork technicians since 2008, to cover the growing need for service employees in the Middle East.
In 2015, Volkswagen and Audi came on board as project partners in Manila. In collaboration with Don Bosco Mondo e.V., over 120 young Filipinos now receive training at the centre for an After Sales job at Porsche, Volkswagen or Audi each year.
Whereas recruitment for Porsche dealerships was, and continues to be, a key focus at the “Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia”, the project in South Africa is also designed to establish a new training programme. To this end, Porsche is developing curricula and examination regulations, training instructors and equipping theoretical and practical lecture areas at the Don Bosco Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) in Cape Town.