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Volvo’s new apprentice intake is chasing their dreams

Despite the skyrocketing unemployment rate, technically skilled job seekers do have an edge and entering into the world of entrepreneurship presents an open door.

Volvo Trucks South Africa welcomed 36 new technical apprentices in 2022. Notably, four of the apprentices are female, a number the company wishes to increase considerably in the future.

“In order to continuously move the needle on diversity and inclusion, we provide employees and, in this case, apprentices, the chance to master inclusive skills,” said Waldemar Christensen, MD of Volvo Trucks South Africa.

“We work hard to combat unconscious bias impacts and we subsequently implement strategies to increase our diversity, to truly reflect the diverse world we operate in.”

One of the apprentices, Surprise Dimakatso, hails from Limpopo, and she says that she discovered her passion for all things mechanical when she was still a young girl.

“I started working on cars when I was just 11 years old and my passion grew from there. Being a diesel technician takes specialised skill and talent and this apprenticeship allows me the opportunity to follow my dreams,” explained Dimakatso.

“I also wanted to show other women that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I want to be a beacon of hope and prove that I am limitless.”

Another apprentice, Cecilia Dipuo, looks forward to putting her skills into practice.

“During the apprenticeship programme I want to learn and experience as much as I can and in the process build a sustainable career in the industry,” said Dipuo.

“I am proud to be working and learning here at Volvo Trucks. It is a dream come true.”

Volvo Trucks MD Waldemar Christensen.

During the selection process, Volvo Trucks worked closely with technical colleges across South Africa to ensure it reached candidates with the right skill sets and passion for what they do.

Volvo Trucks has a well-planned curriculum that takes technicians on a journey from the basics to becoming component repair specialists or specialist diagnostic repair technicians. The journey is supported by a range of online and practical training courses, as well as experiential training at Volvo Trucks’ local dealerships. It also includes training on all of Volvo Trucks’ latest technologies and innovations.

During the formal sessions, the apprentices undergo theoretical, practical and level exam preparation training.

This is combined with hands-on practical training at their ‘home’ dealership to hone their newly acquired skills.

This all builds up to the final hurdle, which is the trade test that will result in the apprentice becoming a fully-fledged diesel technician.

“Aftermarket forms the backbone of our customers’ success. They rely on us to service, repair, and thereby extend their competitive advantage over other operators,” said Christensen.

“A qualified technician, offering a professional service with original OEM parts to our customers will reduce downtime significantly, thereby making our customers more successful and keep them operating optimally.”

Source: Tanja Wandrag / Stargazer

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