/ MEDIA STATEMENT / This content is not written by Creamer Media, but is a media statement provided.
Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy (MRTA) proactive and ongoing training program equips hundreds of unemployed community residents with basic technical and safety skills, paving the way for them to enter the market work in mining and other sectors.
According to Tony Pretorius, Education, Training and Development (ETD) Manager at Murray & Roberts Cementation, the training program started in 2015 and was driven by the commitment of the company and mining qualification authorities. towards community development, especially in areas where it has active projects. In progress.
“The process started with the development of a national level 2 certificate program in occupational health, safety and environment, which is now an apprenticeship program registered with the Mining Qualifications Authority,” explains Pretorius.
“We then expanded the scope of our facility to offer this qualification and, together with other important stakeholders, we reached out to communities close to our operations to train the unemployed. “
Not only does the training give local residents a better opportunity to be absorbed to the extent possible by the Murray & Roberts Cementation workforce, but it also gives the intern valuable basic skills in a range of environments. mining, engineering and construction base. By the end of fiscal year 2017, more than 250 local trainees had completed the program, growing to 392 in the current fiscal year, already almost reaching the capacity of 400 learners per year at MRTA.
“This training was such a success that we were able to recruit over 150 learners into our operations by the end of fiscal 2017, and we are looking to recruit around 120 this fiscal year,” said Pretorius.
“Additionally, no safety incidents involving any of these learners have been reported in our operations, indicating that our training has been up to par and that our learners have incorporated both the skills and the culture. of the security we convey to them.
To ensure the training program is tailored to market needs, Murray & Roberts Cementation demarcates its existing operations based on the expected labor demand for these projects, first attracting semi-skilled candidates. in the skills pool developed as part of the training program.
“We take a detailed look at the semi-skilled roles that will be demanded by our mining projects during their life cycle and train our learners in relevant technical skills, including general workers in basic engineering, mining and construction. », Explains Pretorius.
In close collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, the company is able to ensure that the interns are local and unemployed.
“These are the people we want to target because our strategic intention is to focus on the poor, rather than people who already have jobs and are just looking for a stepping stone,” he says.
The MRTA is also partnering with Teba to perform the medical and safety screening of each learner, as clients demand that candidates be fit for the job and should not be burdened with a criminal record.
Pretorius explains that the training includes essential and relevant elective elements including elements of health, safety and environment according to the national level 2 certificate, as well as an additional element consisting of basic technical skills such as work at height, basic firefighting, basic rigging, general piping and ventilation.
A key partner in this training collaboration is the Mining Qualifications Authority, which provided a discretionary grant for non-artisanal training that covers personal protective equipment and allowances for each of the learners, and covers the cost of training and administration incurred by the MRTA.
Murray & Roberts Cementation also contributes financially by covering the costs of accommodation and food for all learners while on campus at the extensive MRTA facilities at Bentley Park near Carletonville.
The learning program includes a wide selection of core formative and summative assessments that are administered over a six-month period, during which learners are also required to complete various case studies at home.
“The method allows learners to apply theory and practical skills in a mining environment, as well as in their daily lives at home,” he says. “We believe this approach provides our learners with a broader understanding of the application of health, safety and environmental awareness, equipping them to identify hazards in any circumstance and to take action. corrective measures. “
Pretorius highlights the many benefits for employers who hire learners from this program, including significant training savings in time and money.
“Companies that employ learners from this pool can rest assured that relevant awareness and skills have been acquired and assessed, allowing them to quickly integrate them into work,” he says. “In addition to saving the cost of training, employers benefit from safe work practices for learners and fewer on-site incidents directly translate into a more productive and safer workforce. “
He adds that nearly half of the interns to date have been women, which is a valuable contribution to the national campaign to prepare and engage more women of color in mining and related sectors.