The City gave 12 students, including five women, who are auto-motivated the opportunity to learn a life-long skill and achieve their goal of becoming qualified mechanics. Photo: City of Cape Town

Fittingly in Women's Month, the City of Cape Town’s most recent intake of apprentices in the Fleet Management Department includes five women who are completing their training on par with their male counterparts. 

The women, who are participating in the scarce skills programme, are a sterling example that no career under the sun is reserved for only one gender, the City of Cape Town said.

The City gave 12 students who are auto-motivated the opportunity to learn a life-long skill and achieve their goal of becoming qualified mechanics. The three-year programme, which started last year, is a City-initiative to develop scarce skills in-house. This will in turn lead to cost-savings associated with hiring external service providers as part of our endeavour to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
"It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the contribution from the women as we celebrate Women’s Month. I tip my hat to them for participating in the scarce skills programme which has been a predominantly male environment. 

"All participants in the programme have thus far shown an exceptional understanding of the course content and an eagerness to learn new skills,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Stuart Diamond. 

The apprenticeship programme covers a broad scope of important principles and concepts used in vehicle and plant maintenance. These include safe operation practices; performing mechanical and electrical repairs and maintenance; engine rebuilding; diagnostics, fault-finding and inspection procedures. 

The training programme includes both practical and theoretical block training, with one semester completed at City workshops and another at Northlink College. The programme will assist the trainees to apply best-practice in the engineering and vehicle maintenance fields.   

To add value to the training and development of the apprentices, the Fleet Management department will provide them with additional skills such as driver training, computer literacy training, and basic office administration skills. 

"The additional skills development will ensure that the participants are well-rounded individuals and more versatile in their skill-set. An added advantage is that there is a higher sense of job satisfaction among apprentices and an overall improvement and dedication towards their work. This will lead to increased productivity and directly improves service delivery," said Diamond. 

"Once they have completed their training, the trade certificate will lead to an NQF Level 4 qualification. The City’s aim is to retain the apprentices who show exceptional performance during the training.
"To increase fuel efficiency, the City will ensure that on-board computer and digital fuel technology is utilised in all City-owned vehicles. In addition to the above, the City is serious about reducing its carbon footprint. To this end we are assisting the automotive industry with research in alternative fuel technology.

"I am confident that all of these initiatives will add up to save on maintenance costs and increase fuel efficiency so that the City will be able to improve its service delivery standards. I wish the apprentices all of the best with their training. I trust they will be driven to succeed with passion, performance and speed."