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MINE SOCIAL LABOUR PLANS EMBRACE COMMUNITY CADET TRAINING
Tuesday, 16 May 2023
As mines continuously hone the skills development requirements of their Social Labour Plans, many are partnering with the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy to begin preparing unemployed youth for prospect careers.
In cadet programmes lasting from two to six months, Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy has been designing and implementing training interventions that empower young members of communities from within sending areas of various mining operations. According to Tony Pretorius, Education, Training and Development (ETD) Executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation, this adds to the skills pool in these communities and opens doors to a range of opportunities for trained cadets.
“These programmes, customised to our clients’ requirements, help to develop the local talent pool,” says Pretorius. “We have the capacity and competencies to develop a pipeline of skills that feeds the human resources strategy of the client – so that they can potentially fill their vacancies with young people with the necessary requisite skills sets.”
The scale of the two cadet programmes currently underway – for blue chip mining companies – is a good indicator of their value and impact, he explains. With 150 cadets in one programme and 65 in the other, he says there is growing appetite for this important level of youth development.
There is also a deliberate effort to achieve a better gender balance in a traditionally male-dominated sector, so the groups comprise both men and women. The interventions deal with entry level skills in fields ranging from health and safety to underground hard rock mining – depending on the operational environment of the mine.
“In a mechanised mining operation, for instance, there is a primary suite of skills related to drill rigs and bolters, and a secondary suite of loading, dumping and utility vehicles and the likes,” he explains. “Clients ask us to customise entry level training as building blocks for these roles.”
This approach allows new entrants the opportunity over time to progress up the development pathway into more senior production positions. To follow this foundation level training, Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy provides a multi-layered selection of training interventions that support this upward development.
“The importance of the cadet schemes is that they improve the cadet’s access to available employment, while also paving the way to grow within that career to supervisory and management levels,” he says. “The cadetship itself allows the learner to achieve a specific skills requirement which has been defined by the client.”
He notes that the skills imparted through the cadet programmes also have relevance in industries beyond mining. Aspects of health and safety qualifications are covered in the cadetships, which provides insight into generic safety programmes applicable in many sectors. Pretorius says cadets have in the past found opportunities in the construction, engineering and mining industries – and even some in agriculture.