Toyota Kenya, the sole distributor of Toyota cars and Yamaha brands in Kenya, in partnership with Total Kenya PLC, the leading supplier of petroleum and gas products in the East African region, have announced a skill-based challenge that targets mechanics in the country.
The competition,which is dubbed the Golden Spanner Competition is targeting about 150 mechanics from 13 regions in Kenya. According to Arvinder Reel, managing director Toyota Kenya, the competition will ensure quality training for mechanics by utilizing skilled and experienced trainers and coaches from the Toyota Kenya Academy. Henceforth, this will give them the right skills and make them self-reliant so as to embrace blue color jobs and create opportunities for themselves.
“Nearly every major urban centre in Kenya has numerous motor garages or some sort of vehicle repair yard. However, most of these facilities are manned by unqualified artisans who take up the positions of mechanic. Most of these mechanics are young people who only have skills acquired from serving as spanner boys. They lack the professional know-how and employ rudimentary methods, which sometimes result in costly damage to vehicles,” he said.
With the competition in place, young people have a chance to change their lives. The competition is expected to run for three months with the winner walking away with the grand prize of a brand-new Toyota Hilux pickup while the runners up taking home Sh500, 000 and Sh250,000 respectively.
According to Olagoke Aluko, managing director of Total Kenya, the two companies recognize the key role that mechanics play in the automotive sector.
“The Total Quartz Golden Spanner Challenge aims to positively impact mechanics that work under tough conditions but are often not as well appreciated as other professions. In addition to getting a chance to win the grand prize, the competitors will further hone their mechanic skills and knowledge in automotive servicing and repairs which will help grow their individual start-ups or businesses,” he said.
In order to be eligible for the challenge, mechanics will have to obtain a scratch coupon on the purchase of Total Quartz Engine oil (4litres) at total service stations and authorized distributor shops. The scratch coupon will have a unique code that allows them to participate.