Quarry Southern Africa May 2019 - Page 27

FEATURES audit when drawing up a training programme for a company in the form of a human resource development (HRD) audit. “There are so many things that need to be verified before, during, and after a training intervention. Allow me to list a few ‘checkboxes’ one should follow: • Credentials of the specific training provider selected for the training intervention should be verified: ӹ ӹ Is the training provider accredited for the specific training programme? ӹ ӹ Does the provider have relevant accredited facilitators / assessors / moderators for the training? • Learning material should be verified: ӹ ӹ Is the learning pack aligned with SAQA standards, machine or product standards, and client operation standards? • The site where the training is conducted: ӹ ӹ Does it have site approval, as this is a mandatory requirement? “Currently in South Africa there aren’t any statistics that give an indication on ROI (return on investment) or ROE (return on equity) for skills development or training,” says Farmer. Answering the question of how important supervision is to a surface mine and why so many section 54s are issued for this weakness, Farmer suggests that supervision is one of the single most important activities, and managers should endorse supervision as a culture of continuous development. “On the question of why so many section 54s are issued for supervisor training, I believe this is more a human behavioural factor than a skills development issue. Employees need to understand the value of being employed in a safe, productive, sustainable environment. Employers and employees should work hand in hand to ensure a zero-harm working environment. Both employees and employer should take ownership of the working environment to ensure a safe and productive environment at all times. These statements posed are the exact reasons why theses mine receive section 54s — because they do not foster the above conditions,” says Farmer. “There are a number of challenges to providing training to miners. There are economic reasons, with some mines being reluctant to invest as the employer says it is too expensive and they do not have the available funds for skills development, as they see production as their primary role and not skills development. It can therefore be a challenge to get the learners into the classroom when management wants to rather utilise them in the operation. On an individual level, lack of education or literacy is the most time-consuming factor, as the surface mining company is required to employee local community people, thereby limiting the client in its selection of the best suitable candidate for the job,” says Farmer. “Most mine owners only invest the minimum as per the requirements of their social development plan. Production first and skills development last, with career development being minimal. Nonetheless, while some mine owners/mine managers are as aforementioned, we do find some mine owners/mine managers that foster a culture of continuous development. These owners and managers always get the desired results from their employees, as the employees feel that someone is investing in their future. These mines also have minimal downtime and an increase in their safe productive working environment,” suggests Farmer. Why train? In today’s world, developments in plant and machinery are available to all and consequently represent no competitive advantage. Aspasa’s view is that where advantage can be gained, is in the company’s workforce. Those surface mines that continue to return a profit will be those that systematically select and develop their personnel. “Training is no longer just about courses bolstering up weak members in an organisation, with the attitude of ‘who can we spare for the course next week?’ A company needs to select people for training on the basis that training will make their good personnel better.”  “Trainees en route to management positions not only spend time on the shop floor but also experience first-hand the expectations and frustrations of first-line supervision.” www.quarryonline.co.za  QUARRY SA | MAY/JUNE 2019_25