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SGS and Eskom to train 24 local unemployed youths in best practice safety, health and environmental skills

SGS South Africa and Eskom have partnered to train 24 local youths at its Grootvlei power station in the Dipaleseng municipality, in Mpumalanga, south of Heidelberg, in 12 subjects related to safety, health and environmental.

The subjects are part of the SGS RiskStar training qualification programme, and SGS South Africa is being hosted by the power utility, says SGS South Africa’s Certification and Business Enhancement division’s business manager Elfriede Giard.

“The four-week programme will focus on specific skills and technical risk competencies demanded by employers and will include training and mentoring in job-specific skills, as well as work-place experience. After the course is completed, up to 20 participants who have passed the courses will enter a further 3-month internship at the Eskom Grootvlei power station,” she says.

Specifically, the framework training and safety, health, environmental and quality course materials are part of the SGS training programme and have been approved by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management.

The training will enable the students to manage legal requirements and risk assessment, including hazardous work, for companies, as well as permit to work in dangerous or hazardous areas if the requisite safety controls are in place, said Giard.

Eskom Grootvlei maintenance manager Lourence Chauke, who also serves as the community engagement leader and as a mentor in the programme, says that the skills the students are developing will help to strengthen Eskom or the companies they are employed in by fulfilling detailed, technical and international-grade inspection and safety compliance roles.

SGS South Africa’s Sustainability team leader and strategic transformation manager Viviane Lokale says that the decision to provide the training was based on how best to use corporate social responsibility funds to have the greatest impact.

The training will improve the success of businesses, and thereby the sustainability of jobs created, while improving safety, health and risk compliance.

“While deciding on the format of the intervention, we discussed the success of businesses and how that could be translated into a principle. Integrity and trust, which are what SGS has built its 90 000-employee global business on, are necessary for sustainability.  A focus on safe and healthy workplaces improves employee satisfaction and trust and demonstrates the principles of quality and professionalism that they are also expected to adhere to. Sustainability, which is the focus of my team, is ensuring that long-term value is added to society. We believe that skills that support the sustainability and success of formal businesses in an ecosystem, such as within electricity generation supply chains and services, will meet this objective.”

The training and development programme is a corporate social responsibility initiative in collaboration with the Eskom Grootvlei power station and the Dipaleseng municipality.

Chauke notes that more than 9 000 people applied for the 24 positions, with 4 000 local youths applying.
Applicants were interviewed and selected based on meeting the minimum criteria.  The minimum criteria included the youths residing in the Municipal areas of Greylingstad, Balfour and Grootvlei, respectively.

Most of the youths selected had matric, but all had completed several additional short-courses and training or internships at various companies.

Giard, who read out the curricula vitae of the students, highlighted that SGS performed 80 interviews with applicants before selecting the 24 final candidates.

Chauke highlights that the success of the project is important, as the initiative can serve as a model for sustainable local skills development and, more broadly, also support local supplier development and sustainability.

SGS would like to congratulate the selected Youths.  We wish you all success on this new journey with SGS and Eskom.

*Reported by Schalk Burger of Engineering News

  Eskom    Eskom   Eskom


For further information, please contact:

Viviane Lokale
Strategic Transformation Manager

SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd
t: +27 11 800 1000

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90, 000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2, 000 offices and laboratories around the world.