TRAINING CAR MECHANICS – Skills training at OM AIDS Hope
South Africa | OM InternationalTen pairs of eyes are looking intently at the board in front where the OM South Africa car mechanic is explaining the mechanical works of a car. Words like ‘differential’, ‘driveshaft’, ‘back compression’, ‘universal joint’ and ‘fuel injection’ are flying through the air, yet the students seem to absorb it with great interest. Later in the day, it is no longer classroom exposure but hands-on experience in the garage on the premises of OM South Africa in Pretoria.
Team member Philip (Austria) also enjoyed the training as well as mingling with the other participants. “It was a great encouragement to learn how useful and practical several of the participants found the teaching,” he said.
One man commented: “When I was younger, I never thought of becoming a mechanic. I wish I had gotten insights like I did today; I would have been very much interested in this job!”
Another participant said he learned the importance of starting out at a certified workshop and not just anywhere: “It was very interesting to learn about all the different parts of a car. I am now able to service my own and my friends’ cars, which saves all of us a lot of money."
A course in basic mechanics is part of the skills training organised by OM South Africa’s AIDS Hope team on a monthly basis. Previous courses have included vegetable gardening, jewellery-making, how to start a small business, and more. “Today’s course is the first one attended by an all-male audience,” shares Heather van Buskirk, Skills Development Programme organiser.
Obviously, a one-day seminar is barely scratching the surface and just wets their appetites for more, but we all have to start somewhere – and who knows – maybe there will be more mechanic seminars in the future. Additionally, three staff members joined the seven participants, not only because they were the organisers, but also because “you never know when you’ll need some mechanical skills!”