The Automotive Industry Development Centre in the Eastern Cape is demonstrating how South Africa's automotive supply chain is transforming and particularly how WOMEN can thrive in the male dominated automotive manufacturing sector.
The organisation, a subsidiary of the Eastern Cape Government - mandated to assist manufacturers become more globally competitive, has up-skilled and placed 92% of black unemployed engineering graduates in its graduate development programme, into permanent jobs in the sector, over the past three years.
What is more remarkable is that 4 out of 10 placed graduates emerging from the Programme for Industrial and Manufacturing Excellence (PRIME) are WOMEN entering the male dominated world.
The programme has been so successful that almost all of the graduates enlisted have been placed into industry. What is more AIDCEC CEO Hoosain Mahomed says that 25% of PRIME's grads move into middle management in the first two years.
Mahomed says the AIDC has completed over 30 Six Sigma Green Belt projects initiated by the AIDC and its graduates on the shop-floors of automotive companies.
"The results are undeniable", Mahomed says. "The Green Belt projects have the potential to save the companies involved over R10m and the feedback from employers is positive but an additional key principle here is the transformation of the sector and that includes gender equity.'
PRIME graduate Maite Maraka is now a Junior Industrial Engineering Technician at GUD Holdings.
"Never in my wildest dream did I think I will be permanently employed due to the increasing rate of unemployment in South Africa, but after successfully completing my training with the AIDC, GUD Holdings saw the need to create a new position for me as the 1st industrial engineer in the entire organization and the only woman in the manufacturing/production department."
Noluzuko Govuza is now a Quality Systems and Supplier Engineer at DANA SPICER AXLE SOUTH AFRICA.
"When I came to DANA our Quality department was in a process of correcting findings that were noted in the previous audit, and which I have subsequently contributed to.
"The Quality Department introduced a new system to conduct Audits. Today I am solely responsible for managing and generating daily, weekly and monthly reports on the performance of LPAs. I have 9 Group-leaders, 23 Team-leaders, 4 Process Engineers, 2 Area Managers and 4 Functional Managers (Including the Plant Manager and Operations Manager) reporting to me on these LPAs."
For more information on PRIME visit www.aidcec.co.za