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Skills development: learnerships and training

As in previous years, AEL provided training for the National Certificate in Chemical Operations for both employed and unemployed learners. These groups were trained on levels 1 and 2 of the qualification in the manufacturing sector. Selected operators also attended NTC 2 and 3 courses via Ekurhuleni West College.

78 learners from AEL registered for engineering and chemical operations learnerships in the following disciplines: Engineering Electrical, Engineering Instrumentation, Engineering Mechanical Fitting, and Chemical Operations.

In the field of engineering training, AEL expanded its artisan development programme to meet the higher technology needs of its new manufacturing plants. Eleven new learner artisans were recruited and are at various stages of training between the Technical Training Centre, at Modderfontein, and AEL’s plants.

Many employees undertook operator multi-skilling training throughout the year. AEL intends continuing with this initiative, again with an emphasis on the company’s automation process.

At the annual graduation function, 83 learners graduated in NQF 1 and 2, NTC 2 and 3, ABET 4, procurement, and proficiency in software packages.

Chemserve’s training and development initiatives are aligned to skills acquisition and employment equity goals. Over and above skills training, some of the interventions implemented include:

  • the Chemserve Leadership Development Programme, launched in 2007, is proving to be a resounding success, with more than 100 participants making good progress;
  • eight senior employees attended the Programme for Management Development at the University of Cape Town. In an attempt to consolidate and broaden leadership capacity in the Chemserve group, an additional 10 senior employees are participating in a process known as Nine Conversations in Leadership guided by a management consultant;
  • Chemserve continued to offer in-service training to students from various universities of technology, primarily in the chemical engineering, analytical chemistry and polymer technology disciplines;
  • 25 artisan and chemical operations learnership agreements were entered into with employees as well as unemployed learners. In addition, there are six learnership agreements through the Chartered Institute for Management Accountants;
  • over 50 supervisors and potential supervisors have undergone the competency-enhancing Super Management Programme; and
  • Chemserve took over the Sasol Polymers’ Training Centre (chemical operations) at Umbogintwini. Registration with the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) is underway with the training centre intended to become operational in the second quarter of 2009.

At Heartland Leasing, the second company in AECI’s property business, learnerships at the Umbogintwini site include in-service training for two analytical chemistry students, one engineer-in-training, and two engineer-in-training candidates have been identified for development to attain their Government Certificate of Competency. This is issued to electrical and mechanical engineers once they have met certain theoretical and practical requirements.

Apprenticeships have been offered to three electricians and two fitters. In addition, five prospective apprentices have been selected for indenture via the CHIETA. Theoretical training is via accredited training service providers. It is intended that on completion of their trade tests, the apprentices will be considered for appointment as qualified artisans.

Furthermore, two trainees participated in the Boiler Attendant programme, at NQF 4 level, two employees benefited from the New Managers programme, and eight enrolled in the Finance for Non-Financial Managers course.