Changing Lives Through Skills Development
Wesizwe Platinum recognizes the importance of making the necessary strategic investment today in order to build a new generation, highly skilled workforce for tomorrow's mining sector. As part of its human resource development programme, Wesizwe is ensuring that mining specific skills and competencies exist within the local community located in the vicinity of its flagship mine project, whilst at the same time developing portable skills that employees can use outside of the mining sector in the future.
Initiatives currently underway include a learnership programme which develops critically needed skills for young people in a wide variety of trades, in line with the National Development Plan's identified skills shortages in the country. Running alongside this programme is Wesizwe's portable skills development initiative, the vision for which is to provide both the company's employees and the local community members with practical trade skills (such as bricklaying, tiling, welding, plumbing and carpentry) to aid their current and future employment prospects.
Recognising that practical work experience is critical for the development of well-rounded future employees, Wesizwe has launched an internship programme as part of its integrated skills development programme, based on current industry needs and aimed at supporting skills development in the core and support functions of the mining industry. This internship programme not only provides currently unemployed graduates with the opportunity to improve their current employment potential, but it also ensures a pipeline of skilled and experienced young people for the Bakubung Platinum Mine's future development needs.
At a higher educational level and as a means of developing a new generation of mining specialists and potential future engineers, Wesizwe recently launched its prestigious bursary programme, providing support to the country's top performing and most needy students and the opportunity to continue their studies at South Africa's leading universities in the fields of mining and mechanical engineering.
The company's Rock Drill Operator training programme, which falls under its Core and Critical Skills Programme, also commenced on 21st April this year.
On 31 July 2015, Wesizwe Platinum saw the launch of a new core business skills programme to prepare local people for work in the mining sector. The main focus of the programme is to train people on core business skills with the aim of training 1200 people from our local community over a period of three years. For the financial year 2015, up to 400 people will be trained as part of this initiative. At the end of their training period, these people will emerge with different sets of core skills, each one with a formal competency certificate in their key skill area. This will equip these trainees with the necessary skills to enter the world of work in the mining sector. At a strategic level, the initiative also contributes to meeting the skills development needs of the National Development Plan at a community level. Finally, recognizing that all young people involved in the company's internship, apprenticeship, bursary and training programmes need the support and encouragement of highly experienced mining industry personnel in order to achieve their goals, Wesizwe has established a mentorship programme. This highly focused programme provides professional development to all those involved in the mentor-mentee relationship, ensuring the best possible support mechanism, and ultimately the best end-results for both students and the country's mining sector alike.