Sixteen graduates have been accepted into Southern African Caterpillar dealer Barloworld Equipment’s two-year graduate programme this year, during which time they will gain industry knowledge and an understanding of the mining, construction and power sectors in which the company operates.
“The programme is rotational and involves immersing the graduates in various business areas. “It is a structured learning programme that has clearly defined pathways, including technical and personal development,” says Barloworld Equipment marketing and communications executive head Dr Samantha Swanepoel.
The criteria for accepting graduates is based on the needs of each department and the skills required. “A budget is set aside and the relevant departments, working in collaboration with the company’s talent management specialists, design a specific learning programme for each graduate,” illustrates Swanepoel.
Selections are made to support, to the greatest extent possible, Barloworld Equipment’s long-term plan of having 40% women in its overall staff complement by 2020.
The programme has taken in 30 graduates since 2016, with eight of the ten graduates accepted in 2016 being women. Six have subsequently been placed within Barloworld Equipment as permanent employees in various capacities, including junior electrical design engineer, marketing reps, process engineer, product and applications specialist and sales support consultant. Fourteen graduates – of whom only one is male – were accepted last year with the same applicable in 2018’s intake of 16.
In addition, the company applies a 70:20:10 learning model. Swanepoel explains that 70% of learning takes place through experiential learning, such as assignments, tasks and application in the workplace; 20% through interaction with others through coaching, mentoring, performance reviews and feedback; and 10% through formal classroom lessons and e-learning.