Expanding young minds through skills development and training.
There is an increasing demand to close the skills gap and create employment opportunities in South Africa. Vocational training is essential to equip the youth
of today with the skills and knowledge to become active participants in the growth and change across the country as they are tomorrow’s future.
Skilled resource is the enabler across the economy, driving growth and opportunity for all, ensuring business sustainability within dynamic times. Moreover, in South Africa we need to be cognizant of the essential technical skills shortage in the country. Developmental programs such as apprenticeships, learnerships and graduate programs are essential resources in developing and closing skills and unemployment gap. Companies can play a strategic role in curbing the lack of technical skills across the country.
In 2012, Robert Bosch (Pty) Ltd South Africa’s focus on training shifted to not only include skills development of internal staff members, but external youth, which are given the various opportunities at the company. At the Robert Bosch Brits manufacturing plant, a training center was established as an enterprise development project whereby all apprentices undergo vocational training. The company offers various training programs including apprenticeships, learnerships, experiential training, graduate specialist program and the “YES4YOUTH” program.
The effectiveness of training requires an approach that is personal and engaging, with learners and graduates being integrated into the organization as company personnel and future resources. As part of the program, an active Skills Development committee made up of key stakeholders including the trade union, management, line supervisors, group leaders, and experienced production operators who interact with the learners on a continuous basis. The committee ensures effective learning with individualized rotations, and ongoing coaching and support.
“Our manufacturing plant in Brits, South Africa, has successfully qualiﬁed apprentices as millwrights, and ﬁtter and turners for many years now.
Our senior management team including Dr. Markus Thill have participated together with other German companies and the German Chamber in South Africa, in the implementation of the mechatronics vocational training program, which is a scarce skill in the country.
Robert Bosch has placed two mechatronics apprentices in this vocational training program. Robert Bosch in Midrand is ofﬁcially accredited as a trade test center for Diesel Fuel Injection and Auto Electrical, further cementing our dedication to training and development.
In 2021, our Midrand ofﬁce took on two diesel fuel injection and one auto electrician apprentices with on-the-job training handled by our Bosch Car Service center workshops, driving the objective of closing the technical skills gap in South Africa.” says Christine Phoko, Head of Training and Development.
Graduate specialist programs, learnerships, work-integrated learning and YES4YOUTH assist graduates and unemployed learners to gain on-the-job experience. Our developmental programs include a departmental rotation within the organization. Since inception of the graduate program, 70% have been absorbed into permanent roles.
Our sister company Bosch Rexroth South Africa has an intensive training program for both internal and external participants in the hydraulic and pneumatic, drive & control industries.
“In implementing such training measures, we as corporate South Africa have an opportunity to grow the knowledge base within our own country and ultimately bringing about necessary change and opportunities for the youth of today.” added Phoko.
SUNDAY TIMES SKILLS & HR DEVELOPMENT, 01 June 2021, pg. 40