THE best auto and trucking companies in South Africa are taking steps towards diversity and inclusion, and encouraging women who have a passion for all things motor to make a career in these industries.
In a bid to address a skills shortage in the trucking industry, Volvo Trucks South Africa is training 36 new technical apprentices this year.
Four of the apprentices are women, and two of the trainees say the apprenticeship has given them a chance to follow their dreams.
Surprise Dimakatso found her passion for all things mechanical as a young girl.
“I started working on cars when I was just 11 years old. Being a diesel technician takes specialist skill and talent, and this apprenticeship gives me the chance to follow my dreams. I want to show women that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I want to be a beacon of hope and prove that I’m limitless.”
Cecilia Dipuo looks forward to putting her skills into practice.
“I want to learn and experience as much as I can, and build a career in the industry. I’m proud to be working and learning at Volvo Trucks. It’s a dream come true.”
What does the apprenticeship involve?
The trucking company works closely with technical colleges across South Africa to reach candidates with the right skills sets and passion.
A well-planned curriculum takes apprentices through the basics to become a component repair specialist or a specialist diagnostic repair technician.
Training is supported by online and practical courses, and hands-on experience at dealerships. Apprentices also receive training in the latest technologies and innovations the company is using. After passing the trade test an apprentice qualifies as a diesel technician.
“A qualified technician offering a professional service with original OEM parts to our customers, will reduce downtime significantly, and make our customers more successful and keep them operating optimally,” says MD Waldemar Christensen.
According to Christensen the company is working hard to overcome unconscious bias. “We have strategies to improve our diversity so as to truly reflect the diverse world we operate in.”