Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Sep 2011

TRAINING: Enabling Business Growth Through Skills Development


Recent Gauteng Business News

South Africa’s skills development crisis has been exacerbated by the closure of traditional training facilities, which has led to a sharp decline in the number of qualified apprentices. This has created a large technical skills gap in the country and impacts the wider logistics industry in terms of sourcing suitable skills and resources. But logistics and supply chain services provider Cargo Carriers has identified training and capacity building as key to organisational competitiveness.

Cargo Carriers experienced dramatic growth in 2010/11, and expects this growth to continue into 2012. But growth brings with it the challenges of maintaining service standards and capacity. These challenges, however, are being met through the company’s active training and transformation programme.

“Two years ago we identified growth as our biggest challenge,” says Cargo Carriers Joint CEO Murray Bolton. “We decided to focus on transformation and training to strengthen our competitiveness while increasing capacity.”

As a performance driven company, Cargo Carriers believes in recognising good performance and career counselling. Performance appraisals are undertaken twice a year for all employees to ensure continuous performance improvement and development. Training and development plans are guided by gaps identified during the performance appraisals as well as by the identified career paths for an individual’s growth.

Mandatory internal training, such as defensive driving and in-cab assessments are done on an annual basis to assess and enhance the competencies of drivers. This training is constantly reviewed and updated to ensure that drivers are aware of the changes in legislation and all aspects of their responsibilities. The drivers are evaluated by skilled driver trainers both on the road and in the classroom.

Skills Development Programmes

While Cargo Carriers believes in creating opportunity for staff to pursue bigger and better things, positioning itself as an employer of choice in the industry, the company appreciates its role in bringing previously disadvantaged individuals into the mainstream economy. Its various training programmes include:

• A management trainee programme for transport management and logistics graduates
• A learnership programme for internal audit and risk training (in partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors – South African Chapter)
• Disabled learnership programme (in partnership with the Production Management Institute) for 35 black female learners
• General training to enhance the existing skills of employees

Skills Development Training Centre

The opening of Cargo Carriers’ R1m training centre in Sasolburg is the culmination of the company’s firm commitment to and compliance with Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) policies.

The training centre, which will accommodate about 20 students every year, is Cargo Carriers’ tool to ensure that as the company grows, so too does its people’s skills.

“The training centre provides true, sustainable skills transfer and growth and is fully accredited. It helps to ensure that we remain the logistics supplier of choice,” says Bolton.

The first intake of individuals was initiated in 2010 and comprised seven four-year apprenticeships in the technical field and ten drivers, who were trained and licensed to operate specialised loads and vehicles over a period of nine months.

All of the individuals going through training are fully educated on SHEQ. The training division is headed by long-serving Cargo Carriers employees, making it a genuine apprenticeship with hands-on input from people who have been in the industry for years.

There is no doubt that in recognising the skills development shortage within the transport and logistics industry, particularly with respect to drivers and technical staff, Cargo Carriers is positively contributing to sustaining and improving the availability of these scarce resources.

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