After announcing the project late in 2016, Porsche has now opened its new training centre in Cape Town.
Over three academic years, a total of 75 men and women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds will be trained as service and technology technicians. This training will unlock career opportunities in the retail organisations of the Volkswagen Group both in SA and internationally. Porsche says it intentionally designs the training to cover topics far wider than those required in-house, to give the trainees as many opportunities as possible.
This project is being organised in association with the Don Bosco Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) in Cape Town and the local Porsche importer, LSM Distributors.
Eight women and 16 men will participate in the first year of training. Porsche has equipped SIYP with two seminar rooms and a training workshop which includes cars for the trainees to work on. Training content has been designed by the brand’s after-sales experts, who are responsible for the project. They are also tasked with training the trainers of the newly established Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre SA, under the umbrella of the worldwide after-sales qualification initiative PAVE (Porsche Aftersales Vocational Education).
The aim of this initiative is not only to find young talent for the VW retail organisations but also to raise the image and attractiveness of working as a service mechatronic in the long term. Due to the rising significance of digitalisation, electrification and connectivity in automotive manufacturing, the importance of aftersales services is growing. With this project, Porsche says it proactively supports the adaptation of the education system for a future-oriented business.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Michael Drolshagen, after-sales manager at Porsche AG, said: “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.”
With SIYP, Porsche has an experienced partner. “Creating new opportunities, opening their minds and hearts, this is what the Salesians have done for our young people in Cape Town since 1910. We want our youth to believe in themselves and help them achieve their fullest potential. We are delighted that Porsche has partnered with the Salesian Youth Projects to create opportunities for those who are deserving of this chance,” says Lynn Steven, SIYP chairwoman.
From its fourth year, the training programme is planned to fund itself, while at the same time the sole responsibility for the training will be transferred to SIYP. Porsche and the VW Group brands will continue to supervise the project and will be responsible for enhancing the curriculum as well as employing the graduates.
Interested young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds can apply for the training programme. There are three different routes into it, depending on the applicant’s qualifications. If an applicant is already sufficiently qualified for vocational training, he or she can access the two-year car service mechatronic training programme directly.
Applicants who do not possess the required qualifications can complete a six to eight-week life skills training course at the Don Bosco SIYP. 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 achieve significant steps in their development, regardless of whether they ultimately reach the level required to undertake the training programme or not.
The Cape Town training project is based on the Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre Asia in Manila, which has been training young Filipinos as service mechatronics since 2008, in co-operation with Don Bosco and the local Porsche importer. – Mark Smyth