The Gauteng Provincial Government, along with Nissan South Africa, today officially broke ground on the construction of the Gauteng Automotive Training Academy in Pretoria.
The Academy will open its doors to learners in January 2013 and is expected to train approximately 1 000 learners per year.
The learning institution is a joint effort between the Gauteng Provincial Government and Nissan South Africa.
The Academy is part of the collaborative efforts by government and the auto industry to overcome the dire skills shortage for vehicle assemblers, automotive component manufacturers, the dealer and after-sales support network and informal and mechanical repairers.
The institution will also house a world-class automotive manufacturing training simulator to raise the assembly process capabilities of Nissan South Africa employees in preparation for the production of a new pickup truck due for launch in mid-2014.
Gauteng's MEC for Economic Development, Nkosiphendule Kolisile, says that the project demonstrates the provincial government's commitment to growth in the automotive industry.
"The provincial government has maintained a focus on the automotive manufacturing sector and worked consistently to provide an environment that is conducive to growing its competitiveness. This collaboration with Nissan South Africa highlights the strong level of confidence the company has in Gauteng.
"The partnership must stimulate young people's interest in the industry and expand the horizon of opportunities that can be provided by the sector," says Kolisile.
Nissan Managing Director, Mike Whitfield, made an emphasis on the importance of skills development for the long term sustainability of the auto industry. "Skills development is vital to the sustainability of the South African auto industry and our involvement in the Automotive Training Academy demonstrates our commitment to the industry's long-term survival," says Whitfield.
The launch was attended by Proudly South African CEO Leslie Sedibe, Nissan Managing Director Mike Whitfield, Acting Executive Mayor for the City of Tshwane Cllr Terrence Mashego.