In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with employment and entrepreneurship skills.
At ERG Africa, central to our ambition for building a future skills pipeline, is ensuring that talented young people within our host communities can reap the opportunities that a good learnership has to offer in realising their full potential. Developing an external talent pool also provides a framework for ERG Africa to engage with high-potential external candidates regarding future employment opportunities.
This World Youth Skills Day, we celebrate the learners who have gained valuable skills through our internship programme at our Frontier mine and the introduction of a new apprentice programme at Metalkol.
Since 2014, 100 youths from surrounding communities in the Sakania territory in Haut-Katanga have benefitted from vocational training through Frontier’s internship programme in its electrical engineering, mining production, information technology and technical services departments, its processing plant and laboratories. All learners who completed the programme were issued an internship report and certificate to attests to skills they learned to compliment their chosen educational path.
This year, Metalkol RTR launched its first apprenticeship programme, initiated by its General Manager, Paul Viljoen, through a collaboration between Human Resources and its CSR department. The programme aims to provide vocational training for young people in the surrounding community of Kamimbi and induct these young people into professional work to develop their community.
The first two apprentices of the programme, Joel Ilunga Mwanza and Kasak Kabwik, have learned industrial welding skills through hands-on training in Metalkol RTR’s workshops for the last three months.
Kasak said he had already seen a change in his career path, “I am learning a new trade that will be useful later in life.” Joel thanked Metalkol RTR for running the training programme and added, “for the past three months, I have not only learned how to become a professional welder, but also how to work as part of a team.”
After completing the training course, the learners will receive accreditation from the government’s institution for vocational and professional training (Institut National De Preparation Professionnelle (INPP)). Their names will be kept on the Metalkol RTR’s database should future job opportunities arise.
Going forward, the Metalkol RTR training centre will be expanding the apprenticeship programme to plant mechanics, industrial electricity, and instrumentation to further train young people in the community.