NEW ENGINE PLANT TRAINING CENTRE FOCUSED ON SKILLS ENHANCEMENT

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NEW ENGINE PLANT TRAINING CENTRE FOCUSED ON SKILLS ENHANCEMENT, PRODUCTION QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY

Port Elizabeth – 28 June 2010 – The official opening of a dedicated new Training Centre at the Ford Engine Plant signals the facility’s drive towards higher standards of technical proficiency amongst its employees, allied to even greater levels of manufacturing quality and efficiency.

The Training Centre is central to the Puma engine export investment programme, and will provide all hourly employees with specialised tuition in order to equip them with the necessary skills required for the manufacturing and assembly of the high-tech new Puma engine and components.

The training is based in an extensively refurbished facility at the Struandale Engine Plant that boasts three specialist technicians that will provide training in the fields of pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical and engine assembly.

A skills matrix will be developed for each individual, showing his or her training requirements. Employees will be provided with both institutionalised and on-the-job training. This will encompass specific theoretical training modules, after which they will be placed in the production environment under the guidance and mentorship of experienced employees.

The focus of the training will be on acquiring additional higher level skills competencies, rather than additional educational qualifications.

All of the training will be done following the principles as prescribed by the Education and Training Quality Assurance authority of the MERSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority).

Employees will receive comprehensive training to enable them to operate at a higher standard, including being better equipped at problem solving, production process writing, line balancing and equipment maintenance.

“The training that will be done within our new Training Centre will create highly skilled employees that compare with the very best in the world,” explains Wallace Yearwood, Plant Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.

Ford’s Struandale team has already proven its ability to compete with the best Ford plants globally, as evidenced by the ISO 9001:2008 Quality certification, as well as the Maximum Level 8 rating from Ford’s Powertrain Organisation.

“However, the level of technology and sophistication employed in the advanced new-generation Puma engine, as well as the equipment used to manufacture and assemble it, demands that we take the competence and skills of our employees to an entirely new level.

“In the process, we will develop a highly skilled team that are able to not only maintain our impeccable existing quality standards, but raise them to new heights in order to deliver truly world-class engines and components to our customers around the world,” Yearwood concludes.