Cape Town. Porsche has opened a new Training and Recruitment Center in Cape Town: Over three academic years, a total of 75 men and women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds will be trained as service mechatronics. This training will unlock career opportunities in the retail organisations of the Volkswagen Group. Porsche intentionally designs the training to cover topics far wider than those required in-house, in order 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 (Pty.) Ltd.
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. The training content has been designed by 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 Center South Africa, under the umbrella of the worldwide After Sales qualification initiative PAVE (Porsche After Sales 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 the increasing significance of digitalisation, electrification and connectivity in automotive manufacturing, the importance of After Sales services are growing. With this project, Porsche 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.”
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 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.”
With The Salesian Institute Youth Projects Porsche has an experienced partner at his side. “Creating new opportunities, opening their minds and hearts, this is what the Salesians have done for our young people in Cape Town since 1910. At the Salesian Institute Youth Projects we want our youth to believe in themselves and help them achieve their fullest potential. We actively seek partners who share our common goals and values. We are delighted that Porsche has partnered with the Salesian Youth Projects to create opportunities for those who are deserving of this chance. It’s the start of an exciting new partnership between SIYP and Porsche as the two worlds come together for make a difference in our world. We look forward to working together and we are delighted for the students embarking on this new chapter in their lives” says Lynn Steven, Chairperson SIYP.
From its fourth year, the training programme is planned to fund itself, whilst 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.
Routes into the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center South Africa:
Young people who are interested can apply for the training programme. Applicants must come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. There are three different routes into the training programme, 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 Salesian Institute Youth Projects (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 Center Asia in Manila, which has been training young Filipinos as service mechatronics since 2008, in cooperation with Don Bosco and the local Porsche importer.