The Gauteng provincial government and Nissan South Africa have started construction on a new automotive training academy at Nissan's plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, in a bid to tackle the shortage of vehicle assembly and automotive component manufacturing skills in the country.
The Gauteng Automotive Training Academy, which will house a world-class automotive manufacturing training simulator, will open its doors in January 2013 and is expected to train approximately 1 000 learners a year. It will be the first government-owned automotive training academy in the country.
"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," Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Nkosiphendule Kolisile said at an official launch ceremony on Wednesday.
"This collaboration with Nissan South Africa highlights the strong level of confidence the company has in Gauteng."
Nissan managing director Mike Whitfield, also speaking at Wednesday's launch, said that skills development was vital to the sustainability of South Africa's automotive industry, "and our involvement in the Automotive Training Academy demonstrates our commitment to the industry's long-term survival".
According to Engineering News, Nissan SA had donated land and buildings valued at R17-million for the academy, and would pay the rates and utilities on the facility, while the Gauteng government would refurbishing the site for the academy, the total cost of which was estimated at R50-million.
Engineering News reports that the academy will be managed by the Automotive Industry Development Centre, a subsidiary of the provincial government's Gauteng Growth and Development Agency.