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Porsche announces training and recruitment programme for disadvantaged young people


As part of its vision to help disadvantaged youths attain a better life, Porsche AG, along with German non-governmental organisation Don Bosco Mondi, its Don Bosco Salesain Institute Youth Projects in Cape Town and local Porsche importer LSM Distribution, announced it would be providing training for 75 young men and woman in the field of mechatronics at its new Training and Recruitment Centre from mid-2017.

Set to take place over three academic years with the eventual aim of also expanding to other marques within the Volkswagen Automotive Group (VAG), the programme will initially be limited to the Western Cape with Gauteng following in due course.

Speaking at the official launch of the project in Johannesburg on Wednesday, which also involved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, Porsche AG Group Chair for Workers Council, Uwe Hück, said the idea was born out of his taking part in a charity boxing match against renowned South African boxer, Francois Botha, in November last year

"Education is something that concerns us all and must not be a privilege. Everyone deserves to have an education," Hück said.

"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 an important part of our duty to lead by example and show the way rather than to turn a blind eye".

Hück also confirmed that he would be renewing his fight with Botha next year, with the proceeds once again being donated to local social projects.

Based on the success of the Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre Asia in the Philippine capital Manila,  where socially disadvantaged young people have been receiving training as service and bodywork technicians since 2008, Porsche AG Executive Board Chairman Oliver Blume said the trained graduates would also play an important role in boosting the brand in many developing markets, of which South Africa is a key one.

"We gain well trained and highly motivated staff for our growth markets in the Middle East. The graduates, in turn, benefit from long-term career prospects and can use their earnings to support their families. Our resoundingly positive experiences in Manila have encouraged us to expand this successful model to South Africa," he said.

Around 120 Filipino youths are currently receiving training at the centre in the field of after sales at both Porsche, Volkswagen and Audi brands each year.

"We are a brand that is expending and in doing so, you can never have enough skills.A well-founded education is the key to success," Porsche South Africa CEO Toby Venter said.

"Sadly, there are still too many people in this country who drop out of their course because they don't see any prospects for them at the end of their training. We want to encourage them and accompany them each step of the way. I am confident that they will emerge from the comprehensive 24-month training programme with a stronger sense of self-confidence that will enable them to seize the opportunities that come their way".

Don Bosco Mondo Board Member Uwe Bother said it its confident that project would bear fruit and build on the progress already made in the Philippines.

"Young people have a right to education, training and work, and it is our responsibility to help them in being successful one day," he said.

"I am delighted that a premium company such as Porsche is giving disadvantaged young people around the world a chance. Together, we can work with young people from difficult social backgrounds and offer them vocational training. This will open opportunities for gaining a good job and give them the chance of leading a dignified life".


How to enter the Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre South Africa:

Young people interested in applying can do so via the proper communication channels, and have to be from disadvantaged areas with a high rate of unemployment. Depending on the applicant's qualification, a choice of three different training programmes will be offered, while those sufficiently qualified can apply for the two-year mechatronics training programme.

Applicants lacking any qualification but still interested will be required to undergo a six to eight week life skills training course at the Don Bosco Salesian Institute, while those missing basic skills will have the opportunity via a year-long vocational preparation course that will be open to 50 people a year.

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