Trans­fer of crit­i­cal skills

Suc­ces­sion plans are put in place to en­sure nur­tur­ing of tal­ent and skills trans­fer


By their very na­ture, nuclear re­ac­tors and ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts re­quire spe­cialised ex­per­tise.

NTP Ra­dioiso­topes is home to one of the most pro­duc­tive and ad­vanced ra­dioiso­tope man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the world, and boasts a highly skilled work­force — now num­ber­ing over 440 em­ploy­ees, from just 30 peo­ple in 1992.

“The lo­cal skills and ex­per­tise used to op­er­ate SA­FARI-1 — to­gether with the de­vel­op­ment, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion of ra­dioiso­topes — needs to be pre­served and passed on to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” says NTP’S head of tal­ent and trans­for­ma­tion Bene­dicta Se­pora.

“Un­til very re­cently our knowl­edge base was de­pen­dent on a hand­ful of key in­di­vid­u­als — many of them close to re­tire­ment age — which pre­sented a busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity risk for the group. We have put suc­ces­sion plans in place and de­vel­oped a tal­ent pipe­line for all key po­si­tions, en­sur­ing that se­nior spe­cial­ists men­tor in­com­ing tal­ent.”

NTP has also launched a bur­sary scheme, which of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­serv­ing stu­dents to gain ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion in re­lated sci­ence fields.

The scheme sup­ports two pharmacy de­grees and one chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing de­gree and will be ex­panded next year to fur­ther meet the com­pany’s tal­ent pipe­line re­quire­ments.

A year-long in­tern­ship pro­gramme fo­cused on nuclear sci­ence, chem­i­cal and en­gi­neer­ing de­grees has also proved a sig­nif­i­cant suc­cess and is help­ing the com­pany build its tal­ent pool.

“Our ul­ti­mate goal is to cre­ate a sus­tain­able sup­ply of key skills to meet both cur­rent and fu­ture pro­duc­tion needs,” Se­pora says.

At the same time, the com­pany is care­fully and de­lib­er­ately grow­ing and sup­port­ing the num­ber of women it has in se­nior po­si­tions, and at board level. Both its chair and MD are women — as is half of the group’s board.

NTP is in­vest­ing in build­ing a tal­ent pipe­line, from tech­ni­cians and phar­ma­cists to en­gi­neers and doc­tors

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