Teeing off for Edutrans

With the exception of one near-death experience, our EduTrans Golf Day was an overwhelming success…

A full field of golfers turned up at the Randpark Golf Course in Randburg last month for our first EduTrans Golf Day. I say “first” quite deliberately; this will be an annual event – the date for the 2011 function will be announced shortly.

But back to 2010. It was extremely heartening to see the incredible level of support we enjoyed; the who’s-who of the motor and transport industries were all there. Each and every hole was sold, the field was filled within weeks of the date being announced and we all had masses of fun on the day, with many of the holes manned by sponsors liberally dishing out yummy snacks and drinks.

Naturally, the team from Hino – our first principal sponsor for EduTrans – was there en masse. Without the support of companies like Hino, we simply would not be able to tackle the industry’s skills shortage.

Which brings me to the point where I probably need to explain what EduTrans is all about – for the benefit of any readers who don’t know the nuts and bolts of this vitally important project serving the motor and transport industries in their broadest sense.

As most people in the wheels game know, we have a severe skills shortage that will definitely bring the motor and transport industries to their knees unless something is done. That something is EduTrans, a career guide for school leavers. With the support of Hino (and other companies), we will be producing a comprehensive guide detailing the ins and outs of all available career opportunities in both industries. Our guide will be handed out at schools in the third quarter of this year.

When Nadine von Moltke, assistant editor of FOCUS, spoke at the prize-giving, she pointed out that many of the companies participating in our golf day are also involved in up-skilling the industry by way of supporting colleges or in-house training academies and providing bursaries. “Unfortunately, all these programmes require students to be a success, and it is here that the motor industry is in most desperate need of help. We need to attract young, vibrant South Africans to this industry. We need to show them what the wheels game is about, the vast and varied opportunities it offers and the various channels through which to enter the industry,” she emphasised.

Which is where EduTrans comes in; it will be an exciting, informative and, above all, user-friendly career guide that will give high school students all the information they need to enter the motor industry. There are hundreds of different career paths available to young people. Our aim is to show them what these careers are, and how to access them.

There’s just one stumbling block in bringing EduTrans to market, and that’s money. It is going to cost a small fortune to produce the guide – because we want to reach as many students as possible. That’s why Hino has been so generous in its financial assistance, why we are also seeking sponsorship from other companies and why we are holding events such as the EduTrans Golf Day. Each and every company that supported the EduTrans Golf Day is helping to make the project a reality, and we thank them for their support. Our congratulations go to the DAF team, which won the inaugural EduTrans Golf Day and left clutching the winners’ trophy, proudly sponsored by Hino.

Oh, and what of the near-death experience? Well, this occurred when MAN’s Dave van Graan sliced his ball and nearly took my head off. As a result, Paul Matthew from North Star Alliance presented Dave with a bright yellow safety vest. Needless to say, while we shall all miss him, I am mightily glad that Dave has been despatched to the Middle East; I am sure that I will live longer as a result. 

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