Youth to take centre stage in 2019 for automaker

05 March 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201913755

Education & Training
SMME Development & Support
Youth to take centre stage in 2019 for automaker
Andrew Kirby, present and CEO of Toyota SA Motors and Devi Sankaree-Govender

TOYOTA will launch two youth-focused initiatives as part of its social responsibility drive in South Africa in 2019.

The two new initiatives were announced by Andrew Kirby, president and CEO of Toyota SA Motors, at the company’s annual State of the Motor Industry event (#SOMI19) held at Kyalami Race Track recently.

Kirby announced that TSAM will officially join the Yes4Youth Campaign, which is championed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and driven by the private sector. With this initiative, the private sector seeks to offer internships and practical training to one million unemployed youth as a way to kick-start their careers.

“Our decision to participate in the Yes4Youth campaign was a very easy one,” says Kirby. “As a company, we have invested heavily in basic and tertiary education and providing internships and an opportunity to young people is a logical next step.”

As part of its pledge, Toyota will facilitate employment for 497 youth from areas near its main operations. It has selected Alexandra near its marketing head office in Sandton, the eThekwini municipality close to its manufacturing plant in Durban and Thembisa near is warehouse facilities as the three main feeder areas.

“As a significant contributor and investor in the South African automotive industry, we feel privileged to support this initiative.”

According to Kirby, the Yes4Youth campaign will dovetail with Toyota’s existing internship programme, in which the company employs over 30 graduates on an annual basis in various positions at its marketing and manufacturing offices for a period of 2 years. Since inception, Toyota has trained over 388 graduates and over 86% have found employment with the company, many of them in management positions.

Toyota also launched its Safe2School, Safe2Home campaign, which it will pilot with four schools in the eThekwini municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. The campaign was conceptualised in partnership with the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) and will see Toyota become actively involved in road safety for children at the participating schools.

“South African children rely heavily on public transport and taxis to get to and from school every day. As the primary supplier of taxis in South Africa, we believe we can assist the learners, their parents and teachers and the taxi drivers and operators to make this form of transport safer and more efficient,” said Kirby.

The Safe2School, Safe2Home campaign will teach learners essential road-safety principles and will work with taxi drivers and owners on safe scholar transport principles. The campaign will also be backed by a large-scale education programme at schools, which will include teachers, school governing body members and parents.

“We will trial our programme at four schools, which by last count were served by over 80 taxi operators. The insights gained from these four schools will help us refine the campaign before expanding it to more schools in the area.”

In addition, Toyota SA Educational Trust supports several youth and education-focused initiatives, including Toyota Teach – focused on quality primary school education, Toyota Technical Education Programme (T-TEP) – which aims to improve the quality of technical education and in secondary schools, the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS) – a business school with a specialisation in manufacturing studies and many more education-focused projects through staff, dealer and supplier initiatives.

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