SKILLS development without real-life application is meaningless. It has limited to no impact on companies that pay a significant amount of money annually to meet their training quotas and requirements. That’s according to Paige Sherriff, skills development lead for B&M Analysts.
B&M Analysts’ Skills Development division runs a Team Leader Development Programme, and Emerging Leader Development Programme (ELDP), through public-private partnership, and funders that include eThekwini’s Sector Programmes Unit, the City of Cape Town, Eastern Cape Department of Economic, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, amongst others.
These programmes are delivered through clusters to their membership that include corporates like GUD Filters, BASF, Ninian & Lester, Bell Equipment and Canvas & Tent to name a few.
The skills training focuses on applied learning – taking theory and converting it into company relevant, practical implementation.
A perfect example of this was displayed by 2021 graduate Chris Ngcobo from Deneb Investments who used the training to more than halve the oil consumed by his department at IPP, saving the business over half a million rand annually.
Natalie Kotze from Bell Equipment attended the ELDP programme and demonstrated similar positive results by reducing machining time for tubes. Not only did she improve efficiencies, reduce late deliveries, and save time and space, she also led her team through the valuable process of change management. She and her team were able to reduce the time to manufacture a tube by 43 percent , and free up 95 hours of team capacity to focus on machining other parts.
A factory tour is part of the programme during which members and their employees spend time learning about important processes, techniques and skills.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, GUD Filters hosted a virtual tour through their Prospecton factory, and the focus was on GUD’s visual performance management and lean manufacturing.
In May 400 learners from various manufacturing sector clusters graduated.
“While the event was spectacular and a deserved honour for all our learners, the real celebration was the outcome of the skills development programmes,”said Paige.
“The fact that enormous potential has not only been unlocked but realised, in every one of these graduates is the real gold here. Individuals have been empowered to make small changes with a huge impact for their companies, which we evidenced in the quality of the learner presentations at this event.”