Skills shortages are widely regarded as the main factor which slows economic growth globally. As a result, the AIDC established its Skills Development and Training (SD&T) Department to identify sectors with skills deficiencies, and then develop programmes to nurture individuals to drive economic growth across South Africa. The main focus of the AIDC is to become a catalyst for Government to explore solutions to overcome skills shortages in the automotive industry.
This has resulted in the AIDC developing scarce and critical skills in accordance with long-term requirements emanating from the automotive sector’s needs. The AIDC has as vision to grow the local automotive manufacturing industry from approximately 650 000 vehicles per annum, at present, to around 1.2 million vehicles per annum by 2020; and to double local content production to 70% over the next few years. Hence, it is imperative that that the automotive industry possesses a skilled workforce to achieve these targets. The SD&T Department’s objectives are to:
• address scarce and critical skills in the automotive sector,
• build an NQF Level 3 and 4 talent pipeline programme within the automotive sector,
• enhance trade and artisan development initiatives key to the success of the automotive industry through a collaborative process thus improving global competitiveness and improving local manufacturing,
• support talent pipeline strategies as a feeder into the automotive sector,
• providing mentoring and coaching, project management training, and developing learning material,
• securing funding to support its training objectives, and
• attract students who display exceptional matric grades and want to pursue technical careers such as engineers.
The SD&T Department has partnered with merSETA to ensure quality training and development of scarce skills through recognised training centres. The department has cemented relationships with established Higher Educations Institutions including, but not limited to UNISA and Orbit College. The SD&T Department strives to ensure that training and development programme are effected through its key training sites:
Gauteng Automotive Learning Centre –which provides learnerships programmes to develop artisans as required by the OEMs and component manufacturers. It will act as an assessment centre for all trade qualifications; and it will offer a Learner Management System (LMS) which will be accessible to all learners and stakeholders.
Ford T6 Production and Production Simulator Facilities – Learners enhance their skills using a state-of-the-art simulator model at Ford, as well as the Learning Centre.
BBBEE Automotive Incubation Centres – BBBEE entrepreneurs hone their skills whilst supplying components directly to the OEMs production line. They are mentored during this period and graduate from the facility in 5-7 years.
Winterveld Enterprise Hub: Automotive – Artisans receive mentoring and training from Master Artisans located at the facility. It aims to develop Township enterprises. The SD&T Department also currently manages a “Turnkey Bursary Programme” to develop artisans on behalf of Siemens.