Mar 02, 2012
SA group to boost technical education and use air team to attract young to studyBack
Aviation|Construction|Africa|Education|Eqstra|Industrial|Rental|South African Airways|Africa|Ireland|South Africa|United Kingdom|Equipment|Industrial And Mining|Maintenance|Mining|Public Relations Aspect|Arnie Meneghelli|Ellis Levin|Stewart Lithgow|Walter Hill
© Reuse this
“We employ in excess of 1 500 technical artisans and we have operator and technical training academies, with, on average, 350 trainees. We need to feed that,” he points out. “The ultimate aim is that the technical high schools will feed our training academies and we can keep our equipment operating.”
To promote interest in technical education and careers among young people, Eqstra announced last week that it is now sponsoring the Flying Lions aerobatic display team. The sponsorship will be for the next two years, after which Eqstra will review it. “We will cover the costs of the maintenance, fuel and other support necessary to keep the aircraft flying,” he says. The Flying Lions perform at airshows all around the country.
“We’ll use the planes to get more kids involved [in technical training], to become artisans, technicians and engineers,” explains Hill. “Regarding the technical high schools, the idea is to take the pupils to see the aircraft at local air shows and allow them to see them up close, touch them and talk to the pilots, technicians and engineers.”
Naturally, there is also a public relations aspect to the sponsorship. “It is also to get brand awareness to our customers and the public,” he states. “The people who attend air shows are in our target market groups.”
“The sponsor gets a huge punt out of what we do,” assures Flying Lions team leader Arnie Meneghelli. “With the Eqstra sponsorship, we’d like to bring the joy of flight to schools.” The team is equipped with five North American Harvard piston-engined training aircraft, most of them 70 years old, and all owned by Meneghelli. All displays are flown using four aircraft, ensuring there is always a spare, if needed.
“We have 11 to 12 pilots in total, that we use,” he reports. “We use some as ferry pilots to take the aircraft to the airshow venues. Most of our pilots are from SAA [South African Airways].” The display pilots are Meneghelli himself, Scully Levin (who leads the team in aerobatic displays), Ellis Levin and Stewart Lithgow.
“In a way, we’re a flying museum,” says Meneghelli. “All the aircraft are operated under an AOC [Air Operator Certificate] issued by the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] and maintained according to certified requirements. These aircraft are safe. We do 100 hour inspections, or annual inspections – whatever comes first.”
The core activities of the Eqstra group are in the commercial, mining and construction sectors, including distribution, open pit contract mining, the rental of heavy equipment and plant and the long-term lease and rental of passenger and commercial vehicles and mobile capital equipment. The company serves customers in South Africa, elsewhere in Africa and in the UK and Ireland. “We benefit nearly everyone, every day,” affirms Hill. “Our commercial and vehicle leasing fleet that we own transports bread and milk, among many other things.”
The company is to invest R36-million in technical education over the next five years
Eqstra is to use an aerobatic team to attract young people to technical education and promote the company
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Labour and Skills Development News
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...