GENERAL Motors SA (GMSA) has recommitted to developing a vital skills base for the automotive industry.
GMSA yesterday announced the company’s recommitment to the Chair in Mechatronics at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
GMSA and the current holder of the chair, Professor Igor Gorlach, were instrumental in establishing the programme in NMMU’s engineering faculty in 2009 in a five-year contract with the university, and again renewed the partnership from the beginning of this year.
GMSA training and organisational development manager Wayne Osborne said mechatronics was a scarce skill and a sought-after qualification in today’s highly automated automotive manufacturing environment.
Mechatronics combines a number of aspects of engineering, including mechanical and electrical engineering, robotics, programming and computer-aided design.
NMMU is the only university in the Eastern Cape offering a bachelor of engineering degree in mechatronics, and there are currently about 120 students at various levels of the programme.
“GMSA’s support for the chair includes students doing their practical work at the company, getting involved in GMSA projects and gaining valuable on-the-job experience – creating a win-win for both the students and ourselves,” Osborne said.
The company had employed several graduates and would continue to do so. – Business Reporter