Mine social labour plans embrace community cadet training

12th May 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Many mines, continuously honing the skills development requirements of their social labour plans, are partnering with the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy to prepare unemployed youth for prospect careers.

A popular skills transfer component of many mines’ social labour plans, the academy’s cadet training programmes for unemployed youth last from two to six months, customised to clients' requirements to develop a pipeline of skills to potentially fill vacancies with the newly trained youth.

The Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy is a division within the company and focuses on equipping youth, where applicable, with the necessary occupationally-directed technical skills and safety training, covering all aspects of workplace training including occupational health and safety, technical skills competence and regulatory and industry compliance.

The programmes help to develop the local talent pool and empower young members of communities from within sending areas of various mining operations through a unique combination of blended learning encompassing instructor-led, two- and three-dimensional models, virtual reality, simulations, mock-up and online training modules, says Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius.

“This adds to the skills pool in these communities and opens doors to a range of opportunities for trained cadets. We have the capacity and competencies to develop a pipeline of skills that feeds the human resources strategy of the client,” he says.

There is growing appetite for this important level of youth development, with an indicator of the trainings value and impact seen in the scale of the two cadet programmes – with 150 cadets in one programme and 65 in the other – currently underway for blue chip mining companies.

Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy has seen large intakes of young male and female cadets who are being upskilled in various areas to enhance their employability in the mining sector and beyond, with a deliberate effort to achieve a better gender balance in a traditionally male-dominated sector.

The academy’s 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. “Clients ask us to customise entry level training as building blocks for these roles,” explains Pretorius, pointing out that this approach allows new entrants the opportunity over time to progress up the development pathway into more senior production positions.

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, as aspects of health and safety qualifications are covered in the cadetships, which provides insight into generic safety programmes applicable in many sectors.

Cadets have in the past found opportunities in the construction, engineering and mining industries, and even some in agriculture, Pretorius concludes.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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