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In the drivers seat: This is how Porsche will help dozens of local youths in SA

2017-03-31 11:06

CONGRATS! These 3 youngsters are part of the first participants in the Porsche SA skills training program. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

Cape Town - Porsche South Africa has opened its new Training Center in Cape Town.

Over three academic years, a total of 75 locals, from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be trained as service mechatronics engineers. This training will open up career opportunities in the retail organisations of the Volkswagen Group.

Porsche says it designed the training to cover topics required give trainees as many opportunities in the automotive industry as possible.

Helping future petrolheads

The programme has been designed by Porsche and its after-sales experts, who are responsible for the project.

In addition, the experts are tasked with training the trainers of the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center SA under the umbrella of the worldwide after-sales qualification initiative PAVE (Porsche After Sales Vocational Education).

'Hoping to give back to may community'

One of the participants, Zinia February from Hanover Park, says that she has a deep love for the Porsche brand and that this opportunity is a dream come true.

She said: "I'm hoping to give back to my community one day and help other children to reach their dreams."

Zinia says that she always wanted to be in paramedics, but after seeing first-hand what goes into the occupation she had a change of heart. Fortunately for her, the opportunity to work with Porsche and the Volkswagen Group came along and she is relishing the challenge of being a part and establishing herself in this new "family".

The goal

The aim of the initiative in South Africa is not only to find young talent for the VW retail organisations but also to establish an attractive job profile with the service mechatronics engineers long term. Porsche said: "Due the increasing significance of digitalisation, electrification and connectivity in automotive manufacturing, the importance of After Sales services is growing."

Michael Drolshagen, after-sales manager at Porsche AG, had the following to say of the project at the official opening ceremony: “When I look into the eager faces of our first trainees, it's a further confirmation that we and our partners are doing the right thing: Creating opportunities.

"Opportunities for young adults to enhance their skills and position themselves permanently on the job market, and opportunities to develop a professional reputation and use this reputation to strengthen their position in society.”

READ: Want to work with sports cars? Porsche to train, employ 75 youngsters in SA

'I want to provide for my mother'

Trainee, Moegamat Pietersen from Ottery, has a clear view of what he wants to achieve: "I just want to be successful at what I do and aim to be one of the best technicians in the Volkswagen Group. I want to provide for my mother who's always been there for me."

Uwe Hück, chair of the Porsche Group Works Council, is one of the project's initiators. According to him: “Education is something that concerns us all and must not be a privilege. Nobody is too stupid to get an education, but you have to put in the hard work. We have to take on those who - for whatever reason - appear to stand no chance.

"They (the first participants) do: It is our task to unlock the potential hidden inside every person, regardless of ethnic origin, religion or the colour of their skin. Porsche has always fostered a social corporate culture and it is important and part of our duty to lead by example and show the way rather than to turn a blind eye.”

Porsche hopes that from its fourth year, the training programme should be able to fund itself.

Here's how to apply: 

Young people who are interested can apply for the training programme. Applicants must come from disadvantaged backgrounds. 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 car service mechatronics engineer 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 of training to prepare them for the working world. This option will be available to up to 50 people and will enable them to make clear leaps in their development, regardless of whether they ultimately reach the level required to undertake the training programme or not.

READ: Porsche sales grow globally: 237 000+ vehicles sold in 2016

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