Industry in the Eastern Cape is tapping in to a unique Jobs Fund programme that seeks to groom and then place onto the shopfloor 135 unemployed engineers over three years.
At the launch of the programmes’ 3rd phase, last week Friday (Sep 2) in Port Elizabeth Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape’s (AIDC EC) Managing Director, Hoosain Mahomed said the region’s foremost manufacturers were supporting it.
33 of the 45 qualified, unemployed engineering graduates in the third phase, had already been recruited, he said.
Ebor, Formex, De Jager Plastics Extruders, Next Renewable Generation, DANA, CRH Africa, Lumotech, Benteler, G.U.D Holdings, Johnson Controls, Foxtec-Ikhwezi and QPlas Automotive were among those supporting the programme.
Mahomed said the manufacturing sector partnered the programme for several reasons, including “the quality of the candidates and their ability to make an impact on the shopfloor.”
Other factors related to the quality and nature of technical and softskills training provided to these graduates by the AIDC and that the programme covered the salaries of the recruited graduates for a full 12 months, Mahomed said.
“In this phase of the programme, before training these graduates, we sought first to find suitable host companies who have expressed the intention to employ the candidates,” Mahomed said.
He said companies in the Eastern Cape, across all industries, could apply to benefit from the programme.
“We would obviously like to find host companies for practical training with the view to permanent employment for as many graduates as possible,” he said.
Over the past two years 15 to 20% of the graduates have gone on to occupy management positions as the programme “fast tracks” the graduates’ career path with accelerated on the job learning and the specialised training offered, Mahomed said.
Annually, selected, unemployed candidates are up-skilled and trained by the AIDC EC in both soft and technical skills, including Six Sigma, World Class Manufacturing, Cleaner Production, Energy Management and Total Productive Maintenance while performing projects at their host companies.