From Classroom To Factory Floor Srsa Youth Engagement In Tyre Manufacturing

From Classroom to Factory Floor: SRSA’s Youth Engagement in Tyre Manufacturing

Youth Month Celebrations: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators at SRSA’s Dunlop Tyres Plant In honor of Youth Month, 60 enthusiastic Grade 9 students from Colenso Combined School recently embarked on an eye-opening journey into the heart of tyre manufacturing at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s (SRSA) Dunlop Tyres plant in Ladysmith. This educational initiative, part of SRSA’s Factory…

From Classroom To Factory Floor Srsa Youth Engagement In Tyre Manufacturing

Youth Month Celebrations: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators at SRSA’s Dunlop Tyres Plant

In honor of Youth Month, 60 enthusiastic Grade 9 students from Colenso Combined School recently embarked on an eye-opening journey into the heart of tyre manufacturing at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s (SRSA) Dunlop Tyres plant in Ladysmith. This educational initiative, part of SRSA’s Factory Tour Programme for local schools, provided students with an immersive experience into the advanced science and technology behind these critical vehicle components, essential for ensuring road safety for millions of South Africans.

Founded in 1973, SRSA’s Dunlop Tyres plant stands as a cornerstone of the Ladysmith community, employing over 1200 dedicated individuals who collectively produce more than 2.2 million tyres annually. This year alone, the plant has welcomed over 350 Grade 9 and 10 students from institutions such as Ingula High School, Embizeni High School, and Colenzo High School, with an additional 430+ learners from Kwaphayikeni High School, eZakeheni High School, and Kwaphayikeni High School scheduled for visits in the latter half of the year.

Yojiro Miki, Acting Director of Production at SRSA, expressed his enthusiasm for the programme, stating, “Exposing young minds to the intricacies of our industry is a privilege. Our factory not only sustains a significant portion of the local economy but also offers promising career opportunities to the youth of Ladysmith and surrounding areas.”

During the interactive tour, students were guided through every stage of the tyre manufacturing process, from raw material preparation to final quality assurance checks. Highlights included insights into rubber mixing techniques, the artistry of tread design, the precision of curing processes, and the rigorous standards upheld in quality control measures. Students gained a profound appreciation for locally manufactured tyres and their pivotal role in driving economic growth.

As part of its commitment to Youth Month, SRSA also participated in the UThukela District Grade 9 Career Expo Programme held at the Ladysmith Indoor Sports Centre on 13 June. Organized by KwaNtuthuko Trading Enterprise, the event aimed to broaden students’ career horizons by showcasing diverse vocational paths. Hlengiwe Hlophe, founder of KwaNtuthuko Trading Enterprise, emphasized the importance of early career exploration, stating, “Grade 9 is a pivotal stage for students to explore their career aspirations. We wanted them to engage directly with professionals in fields they may not have considered.”

SRSA representatives used the expo to spotlight the array of career opportunities within the company, ranging from Technical and Engineering roles to Production, Procurement and Logistics, Human Resources, and Finance. They also highlighted the company’s graduate and in-service trainee programmes, apprenticeships, and learnerships, aiming to nurture a skilled workforce prepared for the future challenges of the industry.

SRSA, a division of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), stands as a global leader in premium automotive tyres and industrial rubber products. With headquarters in Japan and a workforce exceeding 40,000 across 12 global facilities, SRI is committed to innovation and excellence. In South Africa, SRSA is an active member of the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), advocating for industry interests and local manufacturing standards.

Through initiatives like the Factory Tour Programme and Youth Empowerment programmes, SRSA continues to bridge the gap between education and industry, cultivating a new generation of skilled professionals poised to drive innovation and growth in South Africa’s automotive sector.


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