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FOCUS

Broadening horizons Voorspoed Mine training focuses on widely applicable skill sets to empower employees.

Portable skills

Work Experience trainees.

M

ines, like many other businesses, have a natural life span, which obviously has implications for the workforce and the wider community. The important thing is that proper plans are put in place so that challenges can be met.

Hans Kgasago is leading the Voorspoed mine closure project and in this project works with the Voorspoed community and workforce as part of preparing for the future. His focus is to manage the transition, specifically focusing on environmental rehabilitation and integrated closure plans. The current Voorspoed mine workforce is 407 employees with 59% of these being from the local labour sending areas of Ngwathe and Moqhaka municipalities. Thirty-one percent of the total workforce are women. Voorspoed has consistently progressed towards the advancement of women. Human Resources Business Partner, Lungile Zimu, explains that a programme was started in 2014 to develop women to be ready for promotion when opportunities become available. The aim was to “start a programme to create a pipeline of opportunity,” and as a consequence, women with potential working as operators have risen beyond foreman roles to being shift-bosses. But while the advancement of women has been a focus area, this has not been at the exclusion of other initiatives to advance the workforce generally, and to enable those with potential to advance. In keeping with the strategy for securing the future, Voorspoed’s bursary programme is expanding beyond the technical fields such as engineering or metallurgy. “We want to focus on diversifying to create a positive legacy,” says Ms Zimu. For a young person without experience, getting a job is a challenge. Even applying for job can be a daunting prospect. Understanding this, the department hosted a job entry and work conduct workshop for the community, especially youth, in September 2017, and a group of 17 Work Experience graduates are currently gaining work experience at Voorspoed. In some cases, this is necessary for converting their qualifications into a national diploma FREE STATE BUSINESS 2018

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Valuable skills are those that can be applied to more than one kind of industry, and “portable skills” forms a key component of Voorspoed’s planning for the future. As Johnny Deyzel, HR Practitioner, explains, “De Beers aims to facilitate training skills to enable employees to meaningfully compete for opportunities post Voorspoed Mine. All our skills programmes and learnerships are geared so that all the operators have a skill that they can apply somewhere else.” After a consultative process involving organised labour, 10 of the most transferrable skills were prioritised for 2017, and Voorspoed is ensuring that these skills are receiving the appropriate focus in its training programmes. In addition, a programme to offer skills training to community members has been included in Voorspoed Mine’s most recent Social and Labour Plan. Informed by the Social Impact Assessment conducted in 2016, community development needs were included in the SLP. Three areas of training that were identified as being particularly important were plumbing, welding and water treatment. In addition to offering artisan training. Voorspoed Mine has together with the Department of Labour identified 15 local women as deserving candidates and they currently attend courses in these key disciplines.

Free State Business 2018  

Free State Business 2018 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself a...

Free State Business 2018  

Free State Business 2018 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself a...

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