Empowering South African Youth in the automotive sector

Empowering South African Youth in the automotive sector
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Friday 16th June is Youth Day and the theme this year is working together for youth development.  In the automotive sector specifically, South Africa is facing a concerning skills gap and organisations like the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, the largest employer in the automotive retail aftermarket, are doing some great work to encourage young people to pursue careers in this sector.

Fostering interest and presenting viable career paths

A recent career day in May, organised at Otto Du Plessis High School by the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA), in partnership with the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), the South African Motor Body Repairers Association (SAMBRA), Denys Edwardes and Kelston Motor Group, was a resounding success helping to dispel misconceptions about the industry and provide learners with a realistic understanding of the opportunities available and exposure to the various dynamic career options available. “By fostering interest and presenting viable career paths, the event encourages students to consider the motor industry as a rewarding and fulfilling career choice,” says Jacques Viljoen, national director of SAMBRA.

“In today’s rapidly evolving world, it is essential to introduce students to a wide range of career options. Unfortunately, many young people are unaware of the diverse opportunities available in the motor industry, which encompasses areas such as mechanical engineering, body repair, sales, customer service, and technological innovation. By organising events like the one at Otto Du Plessis High School learners can get first-hand experience of what opportunities are on offer,” he says. Read on >>

The future of the motor industry

For South Africa’s motor industry to thrive and be sustainable, it requires an influx of young talent who are passionate about pursuing careers in this field.

Viljoen says hands-on experience is crucial for young individuals to fully comprehend the practical aspects of the motor industry. The careers day provided learners with the chance to engage with qualified artisans from Denys Edwardes in practical activities such as tool and equipment demonstrations. “Such immersive experiences not only expose students to the technical aspects of the industry but also cultivate essential skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking.

Industry collaboration with schools and universities is absolutely critical so everyone can work towards a  common goal of creating an innovation and education culture and spirit and an industry which is able to attract enthusiastic and skilled individuals who will thrive and help to grow and transform the sector,” he concludes.