Midrand/ Rosslyn - In a bid to nurture and inspire young technical talent, BMW will be embarking on a nationwide roadshow to showcase the BMW Apprentice Programme and the career opportunities the curriculum will offer within the BMW dealer network.
The first presentation in the series - to be delivered by Lochner Dicker, Manager: Technical Training at BMW - will take place on 11 October 2006 at the BMW Pavilion in Cape Town and will be aimed at technical students in the Western Cape region.
Learners from areas that have been identified as previously disadvantaged have been invited to attend the presentation, as have students from many of the older, well-established technical schools in the area.
"Due to the major shortage of technical skills in the country, BMW has identified this project as critical to the ongoing development of the local motor industry going forward," explains Riekie van Burick, Manager: People Development at BMW South Africa. "The gap between what the industry needs and what is being supplied in terms of technical skill is substantial."
In recognising this need, BMW is aiming to forge mutually beneficial and ongoing partnerships with various technical educational institutions, bringing career opportunities to learners in a world where there are limited opportunities. At the same time, BMW will establish a stable pipeline of technical skills into the dealer network.
BMW dealer network representatives will be on hand to provide real-life answers to the questions that the learners will have following the presentation. A range of BMW vehicles will also be on display in order for the learners to inspect the products they will hopefully one day work with.
"The BMW Apprentice Programme fully covers South African MERSETA requirements (the generic government requirement for apprentices), while each apprentice will also undergo mentoring and coaching during the programme to gain BMW specific experience during the training phase of pre-employment," continues Van Burick.
The requirements for the BMW Apprentice Programme include Matric maths and science as well as a passion for the BMW brand, technology and information technology. The programme is between 2.5 and 4 years in duration depending on the progress and performance of the apprentice, with a theory and a practical component at each of four levels.
On completion of the programme the apprentice will be able to work as a fully-fledged BMW Group Certified Technician, with the possibility of full-time employment within BMW's expanding dealer network.