Mining major Exxaro Resources sponsored 411 engineering learners, 33 miner learners, 90 operator learners and 19 business administration learners in 2020 as part of its formal engineering and mining learnership programme.
"As the future leaders and changemakers of Africa, empowering and developing the youth is vital to reducing the country’s unemployment crisis by bridging the skills gap; hence, the significant investments in youth development through skills programmes, learnerships and internships," the company says.
The learnerships take place at the Grovos Training Centre, in Lephalale, Limpopo, and the Colliery Training College (CTC), in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, and include formal theoretical and practical training in core skills, such as plant and mobile equipment operation. The learners also receive a monthly allowance while in training.
To acquire practical experience in the industry, Exxaro also provides internships for recent graduates. In 2020, it equipped 110 interns with impactful workplace exposure and hands-on training.
“So much has changed in our industry over the years and more young black people are attracted to a career in mining and engineering. And, with digitalisation, the mining sector is about to get even more exciting and appealing for the youth,” explains Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo.
“The youth of today are very conscious about issues like social inequality and environmental stewardship, issues which affect them directly and may severely impact their future, if unabated. They challenge us to question what we are doing to build a better world for our future generations.
“Young South Africans want to work for organisations that have a social conscience and are driving initiatives that address socioeconomic challenges. That’s why everything we do is geared towards a much bigger purpose – to power better lives while being resilient and growing our business,” he adds.
The company will continue to nurture and develop young people, empowering them with the skills and training they need to thrive as the workforce of tomorrow and drive South Africa forward.