By Khulekani Dumisa
It is an open secret that the country faces a critical skills shortage. In order to tackle this challenge head-on, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has embarked on a far-reaching engine donation programme to support skills development and training at technical high schools across South Africa.
FMCSA has donated total of 240 engines that are valued at R7.8-million to the Department of Basic Education. The engines are assembled at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, which currently operates two engine programmes: the new-generation 2.0 Bi-Turbo and 2.0 Single Turbo engine family, as well as the established 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi units. These engines are produced for the domestic market and export customers around the world, and are used in a variety of models including the Ford Ranger pickup, the Ranger Raptor high-performance off-road pickup, the Everest seven-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV), as well as the European-built Ford Transit.
Commitment to the Youth
Ford SA says the donation reaffirms the commitment of Ford Motor Company to empowering the country’s youth, creating the platform for upliftment and prosperity, and realising a brighter future for all South Africans. “Ford Motor Company has been a leading player in the South African automotive industry for more than 96 years, an exceptionally proud legacy built on continued investment and innovation to build segment-defining products, empowering communities through creating job opportunities, and striving to improve the world around us for a brighter future,” says Neale Hill, MD of FMCSA.
Accepting the donation on behalf of government, the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, said: “As Government, our capacity is constrained due to the prevailing low economic growth and falling tax revenues. Like never before, we need partners to augment not just the technical aspect of our work, but also to become part of the thinking pack. We need new ideas.”
Various Learnership, Apprenticeship and Experiential Trainee programmes
The donation is not a single event and does not occur in vacuum as Ford has various Learnership, Apprenticeship and Experiential Trainee programmes in place to drive skills development across various fields. Over the past five years at the Silverton Assembly Plant, Ford assisted 165 learners gain their NQF qualifications in Automotive Repairs and Maintenance, along with 220 in Autotronics, 765 in Business Administration, 34 in Fitting, 187 in Mechatronics. Additionally, over 1,800 learners attained their National Certificate in Automotive Manufacturing and Assembly.
Over 120 apprentices have completed their training as electricians, fitters, millwrights and motor mechanics, and almost 1,500 experiential trainees have completed programmes at Ford in administration and the wide range of engineering fields, including electrical, industrial, logistics, mechanical and mechatronics. More than 660 of these learners have subsequently been employed at Ford, with the remainder entering the broader industry with highly marketable and high-demand qualifications and skills sets that give them a solid footing for embarking on a future career.
Published with words from Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
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