Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) and the Department of Basic Education recently handed over an engine to Otto du Plessis High School in Port Elizabeth at a media event hosted by deputy minister of basic education Dr Reginah Mhaule and Shawn Govender, plant manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.
The engine is the first one out of 240 engines to be donated to technical high schools across South Africa. Valued at R7.8m, the donated engines will be used to promote youth skills development and training in the automotive industry.
Mhaule says: “It is only through sustainable partnerships set in the premise of skills development, training and youth empowerment that we can truly seek to add value to the lives of our future leaders. These engines will go a long way in solidifying the Department’s Three-Stream Model and truly enhance the teaching of mechanical technology (automotive). For this, we are truly indebted to FMCSA.’’
The engines are assembled at the 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 3.2l 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.
Investing in the future of South Africa
Last year Ford launched a public-private partnership with national, provincial and local government in the establishment of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ), adjacent to the Silverton Assembly Plant.
This automotive supplier park will help unleash future expansion possibilities for Ford’s operations and will create thousands of additional jobs within the total value chain, providing a significant economic boost for the local communities.
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.