Call to bridge explosives skills gap as many current personnel approach retirement age

27th November 2015

By: David Oliveira

Creamer Media Staff Writer


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Knowledge management was key to bridging the knowledge gap in the explosives industry, North-West University chemical and mineral engineering lec- turer and explosives engineer-ing programme manager Joe-Nimique Cilliers said at the inaugural Explosives Education and Research in Africa confer-ence, in Fourways, earlier this month.

She highlighted that many of the industry’s experts were reaching retirement age and that more needed to be done to ensure the successful transfer of their knowledge to the next generation of explosives professionals.

While she acknowledged that formal education was indispensable, she pointed out that academic training could not provide the speciality knowl-edge and expertise provided by experience.

While the industry will always be in need of new talent, Cilliers asserted, the industry had to maintain the “wisdom” and knowledge of ageing special- ists, which required collabora-tion between all industry players across the various value chains, which she noted had a tendency to work in isolation.

“We need to develop a coordinated approach to focus the industry’s resources and to share learning to address the gap,” she said.

Cilliers suggested that companies operating in the explosives value chain should work with learning institutions to help determine the severity of the gap in order to implement plans to effectively address the challenge by introducing more and better-qualified explosives engineers.

“To achieve industry-relevant education, we need to build and maintain a close link with mining, military and industry management,” she stated.”

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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