The first Porsche training facility established outside Germany – the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia (PTRCA) in Manila – recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.
And to mark the occasion, Porsche importer and distributor, PGA Cars, hosted a glittering birthday party graced by Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, which also saw the graduation of the PTRCA’s tenth batch of 16 certified Porsche Service Mechatronics.
The idea for the center was born in 2006 when PGA Cars chairman Robert Coyiuto Jr., noted an exodus of Porsche-trained Filipino technicians for the Middle East. They were being pirated by dealers in the region – obviously impressed by Filipino ingenuity, hard work, and skill – not to mention a firm grasp of the English language.
Coyiuto discussed the matter with former Porsche AG chairman of the board Dr.Wendelin Wiedeking at a Porsche importers’ meeting and proposed to set up a Porsche technical training school in the Philippines.
Crucially, Coyiuto envisioned the PTRCA not just to train Mechatronics, but to provide opportunities for the marginalized sector of society. Aware that a disturbing 33 percent of Filipinos live below poverty levels, PTRCA partnered with Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI), with a long-standing track record of providing education to this undeserved class.
Hertz Pura, global certified Porsche trainer for the PTRCA, says: “The educational foundation trainees get at Don Bosco is excellent. This is a perfect stepping stone to become Mechatronics.”
The PTRCA dips from DBTI’s talented pool. A two-stage selection process for choosing the final “Porsche Service Mechatronics” begins with DBTI selecting, twice a year, 35 of the best students of the current crop. Out of these, the Porsche trainer selects 16 qualified students per class.
The nine month training program includes theoretical and practical lessons as well as advanced learning using the Porsche Integrated and Workshop Information System diagnostic tool with instruction from Hertz Pura.
Pura also notes that while similar educational institutions have been set up by other car companies in the country, the PTRCA is the first to assure high-paying job placement for its deserving graduates.
The center’s newest 16 graduating students from the 10th batch are already set for deployment – mainly to the Middle East and Latin America. Porsche Centers in the South Pacific and other emerging markets have also signified their intent to source talent from PTRCA.
“While we are grateful for being able to touch and change lives for the better, we continue to look at ways where we can be of service in uplifting not only people’s lives, but their dignity as well,” states Porsche Philippines Managing Director Roberto Coyiuto III.
Since the center was launched in 2008, some 159 trainees have graduated.