Cape Town kids excel in Porsche training program

For any student, graduation day is a special moment, but for the class of 2019 at Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre South Africa (PTRC-ZA) in Cape Town, it marked a proud day for 23 socially underprivileged young adults who became the project’s first cohort to qualify.

It was the successful culmination of two years of vocational education as automotive mechatronics with specialisation in high-voltage and digitalisation at the PTRC-ZA, launched in March 2017.

The cross-brand program was born through a partnership between Don Bosco Mondo, the local Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP), a non-profit organisation located in Cape Town since 1910, and the local Porsche importer LSM Distributors (Pty.) Ltd. Five women and 18 men were honoured for their achievement at a special ceremony held at Porsche Centre Cape Town on Monday, July 1.

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Proud graduate, Kashief Williams receives his certificate from Dr Stefan Lutz and Ms Crystal Christian. Image: Porsche SA

Going digital

The increasing importance of digitalisation, electrification, and connectivity across the automotive industry created an opportunity for the new centre to identify and train technical talent for the group while tackling poverty and changing lives.

The sustainable programme was designed to give opportunities to bright young people, enabling them to release their potential, while also providing a solution to the need for more mechatronic talent within VW Group dealership organisations. In this way, multiple win situations are created together, starting from student, school, dealership organization and manufacturer of the brands of VW Group.

PAVE (Porsche Aftersales Vocational Education) stands for modern action oriented and future oriented vocational education programs and further qualification; which is adapted locally in line with the country specific requirements. For the future competences, new approaches in learning, didactics and methodics are used in the curriculum consisting more than 2000 lessons.

The applied competences are based on customer orders on which students learn during the whole vocational education in their learning environment. Students tackle vehicle maintenance, as well as diagnosing and repairing all key systems of present and future vehicle technologies. The graduates are already qualified as high voltage technician for defined works. The competences are then proven in the mid-term and final assessments conducted by the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in line to the European Qualification Framework.

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Esethu Mkheyiya during the final assessment phase. Image: Porsche SA

Rapid transformation

Daniel Schukraft, Vice President After Sales at Porsche AG, said: “The automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation: New technologies are emerging in ever-shorter cycles, and job profiles are changing through increasing digitalisation. If you look at the latest generation of our icon – the 911 – you’ll see these advances woven into its very DNA.

“We need to meet the needs of modern After Sales to guarantee premium quality customer service in the face of this rapid transformation which is why programmes such as this are so valuable.”

Father Patrick Naughton, Chief Executive Officer of SIYP, said: “This project honours our founder Don Bosco, whose vision was to serve the youth and to build hope, open hearts and transform minds. These students have shown what can be achieved when young people are given their chance.”

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PTRC-ZA graduates Allison Peterson and Fakir Peterson share their experiences with the audience. Image: Porsche SA