Hyundai, through an alliance with schools in the Gauteng area, has undertaken to help relieve the skills shortage that currently exists in the automotive after-market industry.
It is estimated that currently 85% of employees in the aftermarket industry are over 35 years of age, preempting a serious skills shortage within the next couple of years. Although huge emphasis is placed on apprentice employment and training retention, the industry seems to lose candidates to other seemingly more lucrative industries.
A recent report by Trade union Solidarity states that the biggest problem is the education system, in which many children and teachers are unable to perform because of a lack of resources.
Alan Ross, CEO of Hyundai Automotive says “Hyundai has realised this problem will not solve itself, and has stepped up to provide training and resources to local schools in an effort to alleviate the existing skill shortage”.
“In addition to personal training, Hyundai has also provided technical equipment such as engines, gearboxes and steering racks to four schools in the Gauteng area, namely Primrose High, Hoërskool Hans Moore, John Vorster technical school and Ferndale High” says Ross.
Apprentices are recruited from these schools to join Hyundai after they matriculate. Training is offered either at the school or at Hyundai’s Regional Training Centre (RTC).
The RTC was opened in February 2006 to offer training to all Hyundai Distributors in Africa. The RTC boasts represents a R14 million investment and boasts 1 300 square meters of training space, including 5 training rooms, 7 work bays for practical training and 6 training vehicles. Hyundai has trained over 700 staff members and presented almost 90 different courses since the start of the year.
General Manager for Aftersales at Hyundai Automotive, Michael Rohde, states that “The main objective of the program is to create awareness of the automotive after-market as a viable and sustainable career choice, in either technical and non-technical fields. Through ongoing efforts, Hyundai hopes to relieve the skills shortage existing in the industry. The long term plan is to include more schools in the Gauteng area, especially schools situated in previously disadvantaged areas, under direction of the Department of Education.”
Hyundai remains committed to providing world class service to its customers, and this initiative is just another way in which Hyundai will ensure that they continuously receive this level of care and attention.