Graduation day for first apprentices at the Daimler Training Center in Malawi


Stuttgart/Blantyre, Germany/Malawi, Oct 30, 2008

* 16 young Malawians successfully complete their vocational training as motor-vehicle mechatronics technicians

* The Blantyre Mechatronics Training Centre was opened in 2007

* With this PPP project, Daimler is helping to improve the standard of vocational training in Southern Africa

After an apprenticeship lasting almost two years, 16 young Malawians today received their diplomas as state-recognized motor-vehicle mechatronics technicians. The Blantyre Mechatronics Training Center at the premises of Stansfield Motors, the general distributor of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Malawi, was inaugurated last year, and these young men and women are the first apprentices to qualify there.

In addition to representatives of Daimler and Stansfield Motors, many VIPs from Government, Teveta, GTZ and the business sector also attended the graduation event for the 16 mechatronics technicians.

“Qualified service personnel for hi-tech vehicle maintenance are rare in Malawi. The training of skilled workers is therefore vital for future economic development,” states a release from Stansfield Motors. “We are therefore grateful that Daimler and the German Association for Cooperation (GTZ) are supporting us with this task and enabling the qualification of skilled workers”.

The Training Centre in Blantyre, Malawi is the first facility in this region that trains skilled workers in the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles in line with European practice. The apprentices’ workshop has modern diagnosis equipment, classrooms with computer workplaces and a current Mercedes-Benz CL 600 as a training vehicle. The two-year apprenticeship requires the previous completion of a basic training course (Grade I Motor Vehicle Technician) and is strongly focused on the contents of German vocational training. Due to their good qualifications, the first 16 graduates - four women and twelve men - do not need to worry about their future careers. Four of the newly qualified motor-vehicle Mechatronics Technicians are staying at Stansfield Motors and eight more have already signed contracts of employment with competitors’ service workshops, such as CFAO Malawi or City Motors and two will be engaged in the workshops of Chibuku whilst the final two teachers who completed the apprenticeship will return to their technical colleges, where they will pass on their knowledge to future mechanics and auto electricians.

“With the vocational training that has now been established here, we want to make sure in the long term that the vehicles we sell in the region can be expertly repaired and maintained,” explained Oskar Heer, responsible at Daimler for the department of Employment and Training Policy. “On the other hand,” he continued, “with first-class vocational training we can also make a sustained positive contribution to assist the people and the economy in one of the poorest countries in the world.”

The Training Centre in Blantyre is a public-private-partnership project that Daimler built with the support of the Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and opened last year. In the future, it is to serve as a training and further-training centre for the Mercedes-Benz general distributors not only in Malawi, but also in Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Copyright © 2008, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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