SKILLS required to ensure that Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) continues to produce globally competitive cars are being honed and shaped in a collaborative partnership between the auto maker and NMMU.

The focus is already on the next model for which VWSA will have to compete against Volkswagen plants around the world.

“Given our new ‘project’ and the rapid changes in engineering, automation, technology and business, we will consider expanding on further collaborative projects, where resources can be shared, experiences from industry and leading education specialists can be multiplied,” says Matt Gennrich, General Manager Group Communications VWSA.

This will be “building on the sound relationship” already established in certain faculties – such as the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and IT.

Gennrich says the company is already in discussion with the faculty about a collaborative qualification programme for the new project and the VASS skill building process in company’s Body Shop.

He says NMMU is ever open to projects which benefit the university, students and industry.

“Students gain practical and relevant insights into industry through this. The University builds on its curriculum offerings that are aligned to business and industry requirements and industry / business gain by having strong graduates who are prepared for challenges.

“NMMU is always open to discussing opportunities for further growth, expanding on programmes, adjusting curricula, and working collaboratively in offering technical courses cost effectively,” he says.