The motor mechanic departments of four Western Cape TVET Colleges received automotive diagnostic scanners valued between R20 000 and R30 000 each thanks to an initiative by Autel Africa, the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) and the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).
At an event held in Cape Town on 2 September, Jonathan Myburgh, founder and owner of Autel Africa, told attendees that in May this year Autel Africa connected with MIWA offering the four scanners as a donation to TVET Colleges of MIWA’s choice. “Modern cars come out with a lot of Engine Control Units (ECUs) and sensors. These diagnostic scanners get plugged into a vehicle and provide all the required information enabling mechanics and auto electricians to service the vehicle more efficiently. We believe these scanners will assist in raising the quality of the candidates coming out of the Colleges,” he says.
Autel Africa, Autel’s exclusive distributor in Southern Africa since 2013, is an automotive equipment manufacturer focusing on Diagnostics, Tyre pressure monitoring systems, Advanced driver-assistance systems, and key programming. It started in 2004 and has become one of the world’s largest diagnostic brands with over 1000 employees of which half are engineers.
The four colleges selected to receive the scanners include College of Cape Town, Northlink College, Boland TVET College and False Bay College. Representatives from each of the Colleges attended the event and received the scanners from Myburgh. Karin Hendricks, Acting Principal at False Bay College, extended her thanks on behalf of the College saying colleges need to grow strong partnerships with the motor industry if they are to produce graduates that the industry would be happy to recruit into the sector. “We need to ensure that training is current and relevant. This donation will ensure that students are able to make a smooth transition from the college into the workplace being trained to work with equipment that is used by industry,” she says.
In the next two to three years, False Bay College is planning to establish one of the biggest engineering campuses in the Western Cape at Swartklip (former site of Denel). One of the biggest centres of specialisation/academies at this campus will be the Motors Academy. “We want to work with associations such as MIWA, the RMI and Autel to establish a motors department that will produce training of the highest standard which is current, responsive and relevant. We know that we cannot do this without industry partnerships,” says Hendricks.
The keynote speaker, Minister David John Maynier, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, says the Western Cape Government is completely committed to growing the economy and creating jobs, and one of their top priorities is to create opportunities for young people in the Western Cape. I am so proud of the work done by the TVET Colleges in the Western Cape, who play an incredibly important role in ensuring that young people gain important workplace skills and experience that is necessary to make them employable and to be able to launch their careers the moment they graduate.” He adds that due to the motor industry being confronted by autonomous and electrical cars, continuous learning is so important and that from Government’s perspective, they realise that they cannot do it alone. “That is why partnerships with the private sector are so important.”
MIWA National Chairperson, Dewald Ranft, says MIWA, as a proud association of the RMI and the largest association representing 2400 independent aftermarket workshops, confirms its commitment to training, qualification review and development, and to upholding industry standards. “We are honoured to have been a part of initiating this partnership with Autel Africa as it is our responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the industry through up-and-coming young people.”
The event was concluded by Jakkie Olivier, CEO of RMI, who commented that the reason the RMI is involved in many initiatives like this one is to make a difference. “This aligns perfectly with local government’s initiatives to grow employment and focus on the youth. Many thanks to all who have been involved in bringing this project together,” he says.