Im­pe­rial ex­tends its learn­er­ship reach

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

LO­GIS­TICS and sup­ply chain leader Im­pe­rial Lo­gis­tics has added im­pe­tus to its drive to ad­dress South Africa’s skills deficit and youth un­em­ploy­ment by ex­tend­ing the reach of its grad­u­ate de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme and part­ner­ing with lo­cal gov­ern­ment and Trans­port Ed­u­ca­tion Train­ing Au­thor­ity (Teta) in new work­place ex­pe­ri­ence pro­grammes.

Train­ing and de­vel­op­ment ex­ec­u­tive Co­lette Wes­sels said that the group’s grad­u­ate de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme pre­vi­ously fo­cused on hon­ours and de­gree stu­dents from tra­di­tional univer­si­ties, and was pitched at a ju­nior man­age­ment level. “We re­alised, how­ever, that we were miss­ing the op­por­tu­nity to reach another group of in­di­vid­u­als who can add great value to our com­pany, and whose train­ing and de­vel­op­ment can help to ad­dress the coun­try’s crit­i­cal skills gap.”

By part­ner­ing with the univer­si­ties of tech­nol­ogy and FET col­leges, Im­pe­rial is reach­ing grad­u­ates who may have a non-de­gree qual­i­fi­ca­tion but who can fill im­por­tant op­er­a­tional po­si­tions across a range of lev­els in the or­gan­i­sa­tion, she said.

“Our aim is to up­skill these grad­u­ates though our pro­grammes and learn­er­ships, in or­der to pre­pare them for roles across our en­vi­ron­ment and in­dus­try.”

Im­pe­rial’s grad­u­ate de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme pro­vides grad­u­ates with rel­e­vant on­the-job ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­po­sure through job ro­ta­tion, work as­sign­ments and spe­cial projects. Op­por­tu­ni­ties are of­fered in dis­ci­plines that in­clude lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain, in­dus­trial en­gi­neer­ing, IT, hu­man re­sources and Cima (Char­tered In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ac­coun­tants).

In ad­di­tion, the Im­pe­rial Lo­gis­tics Academy — the group’s ded­i­cated train­ing fa­cil­ity — has also en­tered into part­ner­ships with the Ekurhuleni Metropoli­tan Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and Teta that have this year pro­vided in­tern­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties for 143 young South Africans.

Wes­sels said: “The City of Ekurhuleni, work­ing with the Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, chose Im­pe­rial as one of its part­ners in its grad­u­ate place­ment and youth de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme. With fund­ing pro­vided by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, we ini­tially took on 19 grad­u­ates, who we put through our learn­er­ships and who were pro­vided with work­place ex­pe­ri­ence at Im­pe­rial group com­pa­nies. At the end of the 12-month pro­gramme, we were able to of­fer per­ma­nent em­ploy­ment to 14 of them. In March, we took on a fur­ther 43 grad­u­ates as part of our part­ner­ship with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We are com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing a pipeline of tal­ent and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the long-term ben­e­fit of Im­pe­rial Lo­gis­tics, our in­dus­try and coun­try,” she said.

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