Youth graduate from Salesian’s ‘Porsche Project’

Graduates from the Porsche Mechatronics Technician Programme.

Twenty-three young men and women from disadvantaged communities have graduated from the Porsche Mechatronics Technician Programme at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP).

The “Porsche Project” is officially called the PAVE PTRC-ZA project. PAVE is an acronym for Porsche After-Sales Vocational Education and PTRC-ZA stands for Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre – South Africa. The Salesian Institute, in Green Point, has been working for over 100 years providing education and training for at-risk youth in Cape Town.

The project was launched in 2017 with the first pilot class of 21 men and seven women beginning their two-year course in July. It is focused on youth from at risk communities and seeks to develop skills in the automotive sector, in particular for mechatronics service technicians. The VW Group dealer network will employ these graduates in their network.

The two-year training, designed by Porsche After Sales experts, involved practical and academic learning modules, including high voltage training. Father Patrick Naughton, chief executive officer of SIYP, said: “This project honours our founder Don Bosco, whose vision was to serve the youth and to build hope, open hearts and transform minds. These students have shown what can be achieved when young people are given their chance.”

One of the graduates, Fakir Peterson from Ottery, said he never dreamt that he would be able to pursue a career in the automotive industry and found out about the course through his school, Groenvlei High.

“This was such a good opportunity to be trained and have a possible opportunity to work with premium vehicles and top-class trainers. My mother was so proud and my family very excited. This was an experience of a lifetime,” he said.

He said his communication skills have improved and with his newly acquired technical skills, he now helps people in his community if they experience car troubles.”I aspire to progress my career and become a master technician, maybe move onto service advisor and service manager perhaps. I have learnt that dreams can become a reality if you persist.”

Another graduate from Lansdowne, Firdouz Eksteen, said:”This has opened a new world for me, I had to learn skills I didn’t have and work in a male-dominated environment. But thankfully the class facilitators always motivated me, and I had my family’s support. I am not the same person that started here, I have learnt so many skills and I have learnt perseverance.”