Apr 03, 2009
R130-million training centre becomes a realityBack
Sandton|Africa|Barloworld Equipment|Caterpillar|CoAL|Industrial|Mining|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|Europe|Angola|Botswana|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Malawi|Mozambique|Namibia|South Africa|Zambia|Zimbabwe|Commonwealth Day|Capital Equipment Supplier|Equipment|Service|Solutions|Dumisa Ntsebeza|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|Iron-ore|Paolo Fellin|Paul Mashatile|Peter Bulterman|Operations|Proximity|Middle East
© Reuse this
"We support this initiative, and going forward we should find a way of partnering with [Barloworld]. There is a need to focus on the development of scarce skills and this comes at a time when it is needed most," said Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile at an onsite showcase evening in March this year.
"As we face the economic meltdown, the important thing is to invest as much as possible in infrastructure development." He added that projects such as the training centre serve to reinforce and support government's investment of over R600-million in infrastructure development, helping to ensure long-term sustainability and future growth.
"We want to assure that as a company we are prepared for and ready to enter into any kind of partnership relationship with the Gauteng government as a major province in this country in terms of industrial development," said Barloworld chairman Dumisa Ntsebeza at the event. "Any effort that the government is putting into skills development, it must know that Barloworld can be counted on in terms of articulating what needs to be done, as well as in terms of implementing projects such as this one."
The development comes at a time when Barloworld is implementing strong measures to cut costs and has placed several capital projects on hold.
"However, skills development remains a priority and our investment in leadership development and technical skills training is being increased this year," said Barloworld Equipment CEO Peter Bulterman. "We as Barloworld have made one fundamental decision - we will not cut back on training and development."
Work started on the development in the fourth quarter of 2008, and phase 1 is expected to be complete by mid-2009.
At full capacity the training centre will be capable of developing about 2 000 learners a year, including learner artisans, artisans employed by Barloworld Equipment, as well as artisans employed by customers and other Cat dealers. The centre will contain a six-bay workshop, 12 practical work areas, 12 lecture rooms, office accommodation, a canteen and other amenities. Meanwhile, the Barloworld Equipment Operator Academy will have four dedicated lecture rooms.
The Technical Training Centre will facilitate South African learners as well as learners from other African countries such as Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.
Accommodation has been acquired in close proximity to the Technical Training Centre and is being refurbished for out-of-town learners. This will have full catering facilities and accommodation for 130 students in 96 single rooms, eight bachelor units and eight flexible multi-roomed units.
"This R130-million project, together with the training skills that will populate the centre, is an investment in Barloworld Equipment's future and in the future of our customers and our country," said Bulterman.
Last year Barloworld Equipment opened its purpose-built Leadership Development Centre at its Sandton-based head office. This facility provides comprehensive management training programmes to employees in leadership positions.
"In these difficult economic times, even stronger leadership is needed. We've developed this centre to ensure that from upper managment right down to our supervisory level of management, we give all our employees the training that they need," said Bulterman.
Ntsebeza added that Barloworld Equipment's focus on empowering its people is linked closely with the broad-based black economic-empowerment initiative announced by the group last year. "In terms of this agreement, all our South African employees were given shares in the company. Ongoing development of all skills takes this a step further. South Africa has a technical skills crisis. As a country we will flounder without skills, whatever the economic climate. We are making a commitment as a company to devote whatever funds we can to developing skills."
Caterpillar vice president of marketing for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Paolo Fellin, pointed out that investment in people was entrenched in the culture of both Barloworld and Caterpillar. "We have shared 82 years in business and there are times when we have to regroup and focus as a team on getting stronger. Barloworld Equipment's skills development initiatives will help to ensure our future together in southern Africa."
"For example, we have strong partnerships in coal and iron ore, two mining sectors that remain strong despite the commodities slump. Barloworld Equipment is a major supplier of earthmoving equipment to infrastructure development in southern Africa, and our Angolan business is showing no signs of slowing from levels of unprecedented growth," he said.
He notes that Caterpillar has almost doubled the Cat machine population on the ground in the past five years, indicating that its equipment management capability, incorporating parts, service and other customised solutions, will continue to generate strong demand.
Milestones in Barloworld Equipment's skills development programmes have included pioneering artisan learnerships and a pre-learnership bridging course in South Africa, as well as establishment of the industry's first government-accredited operator training programme. The company is also seeing results from its efforts to have artisan learnerships accepted at national level in all its southern African dealership territories.
To watch a video clip of the conceptual designs of Barloworld's new Technical Training Centre, go to www.engineeringnews.co.za and click on ‘Multimedia' and then on ‘Video Clips'
Edited by: Laura Tyrer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Video News
Updated 1 hour 44 minutes ago Oil producer Soco International has reduced its 2015 capital expenditure budget by more than 60% versus last year and will focus on projects in Vietnam and Africa, the company said. It also cut its production guidance for this year to reflect weaker output from some...
Updated 4 hours ago The chances of power cuts being implemented on Thursday were minimal, electricity supplier Eskom said. "Today's risk of load shedding is minimised, it looks like the system is relatively stable," spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...