In response to increasing unemployment rates in South Africa, Engen are running various campaigns to recruit candidates for learnerships, which are based on business and industry needs.
To date, Engen has trained over 500 artisans and professional drivers, who are now licensed to trade in various fields.
South Africa has an unemployment rate of approximately 27%, yet at the same time, the country has a shortage of suitably qualified people. In an effort to help address this anomaly, Engen offers a variety of learnerships in technical fields to help educate and upskill school leavers and unemployed youth.
A learnership is a work-based learning programme where classroom studies at a college or training centre are combined with practical on-the-job experience. Research shows thatwe learn far better, when we practice what we have been taught in the classroom in a real workplace environment.
Engen aligns its learnership recruitment to its business needs. Those who complete their learnerships are often employed by the company or within the broader petroleum industry.
“In this way, the introduction of learnerships is making a good contribution towards solving the skills shortage in the industry,” says Mmalenyalo Galane, Skills Development Facilitator at Engen.
“By physically performing tasks in the workplace that are learned in the classroom, you can put into action what you have learned and also what you did not understand. This allowsyou to ask the trainer to explain that part of the lesson again until you fully understand it.”
Galane says the learnerships offered by Engen form part of a nationally recognised qualification and are directly linked to an occupation.
“A learnership does not only teach skills for a particular job when you complete your training, it also forms part of a higher qualification towards which you can study by undertaking other learnerships or short courses.”
Adds Galane: “Each learnership has a specific level of qualification. For example, if you want to become an artisan, you must complete four separate learnerships (levels 1, 2, 3 & 4). There is no set period to do this, as each level counts towards the full qualification.”
Engen offers learnerships in Chemical Operations, Professional Driving, and Production Technology, as well as various trade occupation apprenticeships such as diesel mechanic, fitter and turner, instruments and electrical.
The 12-month learnerships offered by Engen pays a monthly stipend to successful candidates.
Engen is also passionate about the development of people with disabilities, says Engen’s head of Human Resources, Chwayita Mareka, and has partnered with an N.P.O. in Cape Town for learnerships specifically designed for people with disabilities.
In addition to the learnership programme, Engen also funds bursaries for students studying Engineering and Finance-related degrees, with the aim of creating a pipeline of talent for the Engen Graduate Development Programme.
“In all these ways, Engen is surely doing its part in helping reduce the country’s high unemployment rate by developing the unemployed Youth and further upskilling them on the job,” says Mareka.