Em­ploy­ees on the ‘front line’

Finweek English Edition - - Finweek -

TINIE KRUGEL and his team are ex­pand­ing a train­ing cen­tre that serves not only De Beers but also pro­vides train­ing for the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor round Kim­ber­ley and from the North­ern Cape. De Beers has been train­ing peo­ple for years but over the past 12 months has broad­ened that role by es­tab­lish­ing the Lesedi (which means light) Train­ing Cen­tre in Kim­ber­ley.

Man­ager Krugel has been key in the found­ing of the train­ing cen­tre. He’s been with De Beers for 11 years. “Lesedi has been run­ning for a year and a bit. The speed at which we’ve put this to­gether is re­ally

re­mark­able. The peo­ple work­ing here are ex­tremely ded­i­cated,” says Krugel.

He says the think­ing be­hind the cen­tre was to ed­u­cate and train peo­ple, al­low­ing them to think dif­fer­ently – which en­hances their abil­ity to deal with change. As a re­sult they be­come more em­pow­ered and adapt­able em­ploy­ees. “We can’t run away from this change… If we have em­ploy­ees who can deal with change it helps the com­pany.”

Prior to the es­tab­lish­ment of the train­ing cen­tre, train­ing at De Beers Con­sol­i­dated Mines (DBCM) had tended to fo­cus on tech­ni­cal and on se­nior man­age­ment. Now, in line with the recog­ni­tion of the im­por­tance of em­ploy­ees on the “front line” – those who are ac­tu­ally min­ing and pro­cess­ing di­a­monds – the ap­proach to­wards train­ing needs has changed. “It’s im­por­tant to drive pro­duc­tiv­ity – to be bet­ter to­day than we were yes­ter­day. One way to do that is to equip the front line with skills,” says Krugel.

Lesedi aims to pro­vide train­ing cour­ses for its em­ploy­ees and peo­ple from other com­pa­nies. As a re­sult of the com­pany’s deep his­tory DBCM has a high affin­ity with Kim­ber­ley and the peo­ple of the North­ern Cape. “We want to con­trib­ute to the skills chal­lenges fac­ing SA, not just in De Beers but also in ar­eas such as the North­ern Cape,” says Krugel.

The cen­tre is split into two di­vi­sions: tech­ni­cal and non-tech­ni­cal. De Beers al­ready had a tech­ni­cal train­ing arm and that was ab- sorbed into Lesedi, pro­vid­ing the ba­sis for the school. “We took the tech­ni­cal cen­tre and ex­panded that. The learn­er­ships in­clude min­ing, met­al­lurgy and en­gi­neer­ing,” says Krugel.

The non-tech­ni­cal depart­ment of­fers learn­er­ships in su­per­vi­sory skills and pro­duc­tiv­ity, as well as in­tro­duc­ing a num­ber of e-learn­ing cour­ses.

Lesedi is work­ing to­gether with the Da Vinci In­sti­tute to es­tab­lish a mas­ters de­gree that would cover man­age­ment and lead­er­ship, in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy in the field of con­tin­u­ous busi­ness im­prove­ment, says Krugel.

Each year there are around 500 stu­dents train­ing at Lesedi on both the tech­ni­cal and non-tech­ni­cal sides, with the num­ber of peo­ple en­rolling for e-learn­ing cour­ses around 3 000. “It’s not all about money,” says Krugel, but Lesedi does have the free­dom to op­er­ate com­mer­cially.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.