FCA Urges Students To Perfect Their Skills By Practice

February 2017

Fiat Chrysler Automobile South Africa’s Richard Sloman urged Ekurhuleni West TVET College students to learn by practice if they are to perfect their skills. Mr Sloman, FCA’s head of Public Relations, was addressing the college students at a car components donation handover function, held in February at EWC's Boksburg campus. The Italian-controlled multinational corporation donated brand new Fiat motor vehicle components, valued at R600 000, to the automotive workshop to help students with practical studies. The components comprised the wherewithal to build a car with the exclusion of the body. The majority of the components came from their subsidiary car parts company, Mopar.

The world’s seventh-largest auto maker vowed to make available their personnel for technical support, and also encouraged the college to send students and lecturers to their service centres and plant in Rosslyn to enhance their skills development.

"Being here today is not just about branding. We hope to host your students at our head office, teaching them what vehicle components are all about. Students must play with them because that is the only way to learn and acquire a feel of how these items work. We certainly believe this contribution will be able to help the entire college community as far as skills development is concerned," said Richard.

Technical services personnel on site allowed students to open boxes, and identify components on their own to display their knowledge of the automotive industry, in which they excelled. Included in the range of donated components were duplicates, such as headlights and airbags, as they can only be stripped once. The donated stock had not been installed before, and consisted of parts for cars that are no longer in the market. They are given to technical schools and colleges in need, rather than being disposed of. Apart from the technical assistance, the Maserati manufacturer offers intermediary induction and introduction to new products in institutions they have donated to.

The college Principal, Ms Hellen Ntlatleng, described the generosity of FCA as a valuable contribution to human development and a great boost to the acceleration of the Artisan Development Programme championed by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The Principal stressed the importance of Work-Based Exposure, while warning students of the negative impact of self-entitlement.

"Thank you for adding value to skills development, as we know TVET colleges are key to that. Therefore, we should walk the talk. We have to ensure that students we produce from our workshops are students that when sent to industries, excel, as through such donations, there will be limited gaps between the industry and our workshops. For that, we request once again that your doors remain open, not only for our students, but for lecturers as well. That will enable them to deliver industry standard lessons having had a sense of how the industry operates. It is imperative that we place them in order to expose them to new technologies. In one way or the other, we have to associate as skills development agencies," said Ms Ntlatleng.

"As the department, we have, through the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana (MP), adopted the 'Decade of the Artisan' concept, so that artisan trades can be seen to be the coolest thing amongst youth, and young women in particular," the Principal concluded.

Automotive is one of the college's leading programmes and is offered at five of its sites. In 2016, eleven Ekurhuleni West TVET College students were enrolled at FCA’s automotive workshops on a Motor Mechanic apprenticeship programme, scheduled to conclude in February 2018.

Mr Richard Sloman, Fiat Chrysler Autmobile's Public Relations head, in conversation with Ekurhuleni West TVET College’s Manager for Partnerships and Linkages, Mr Raymond Dladla.
From left to right: Innocent Matshisi and Richard Sloman of FCA, and Hellen Ntlatleng and Benita Sisi of EWC, signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the College and the motor manufacturer.
Everybody tuck in! Students unveiling new car components with FCA's Technical Support and Customer Services Head.



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