As part of Gauteng Provincial Government’s commitment to skills development, the AIDC and Nissan SA (NSA) launched the Gauteng Automotive Learning Centre in June 2014. The Learning Centre is part of the Nissan SA Investment Support Programme.
Under the terms of the collaboration, NSA availed their land and buildings to the AIDC at no cost and will bear the cost of utilities such as water and electricity. The AIDC has provided the necessary funding for the construction of the building and purchased all equipment required to train students.
The AIDC will also be the operational custodian of the facility. The Learning Centre will accommodate approximately 1000 learners annually, on a variety of training programmes, aimed at addressing both the current skills shortage and broadening their technical skills base.
The facility will contain all the relevant training equipment to support specialised training programmes to benefit the following five segments of the auto industry:
• Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs),
• automotive component manufacturing industry,
• dealer networks and aftersales support centres,
• informal body and mechanical repairers, and
• School Leaver’s Programme.
The training programmes on offer include:
• PLC and CNC
• various general classroom and PC training
• spray painting
• vehicle aftermarket service and maintenance, and
• a variety of school support programmes.
The AIDC will soon introduce a Learner Management System (LMS) with access to all stakeholders and students. The facility will also launch a start-of-the-art Vehicle Assembly Simulator, made up of a vehicle assembly area which is designed primarily to replicate the specifications of the actual vehicle assembly process for the new Nissan pickup vehicle, which goes into production in 2017.
There will also be a body welding area to replicate Nissan’s body shop, as well as a vehicle spray painting area to the same specification. The simulator will initially be used to upskill NSA’s production staff on the vehicle assembly processes associated with production of a new 1-ton pickup.
Thereafter, the simulator will be used by the AIDC to facilitate the training for the greater industry’s benefit. Skills development is vital to the sustainability of the South African auto industry and the AIDC’s involvement in the Learning Centre demonstrates its commitment to the industry’s long-term survival.
The AIDC’s partnership with NSA will create approximately 800 direct jobs and 4 000 jobs within its supply chain.