The principle of learning for growth remains a key in Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC)’s success and the group needs the right people, with the right skills to do the right things.
Kevin Odendaal, the group’s investor relations and strategy manager, said last week that PPC was focused on building sustainable competence to remain globally competitive.
He said new skills training was an important building block of the company’s strategy for growth. “We pride ourselves on people and we invest quite a lot in them. Accordingly, the learning and development function is primarily aimed at ensuring that PPC team members have the opportunity, the resources and the means to fulfill their career ambitions and their highest potential,” he said.
He told The New Age that the group’s diverse training programmes had produced substantial benefits for both the company and participants. On average, a PPC employee spends about 78 hours or more than nine days on training a year.
During the 2010 financial year, it spent 6.4% of its payroll (leviable amount) on skills development for employees. Of this, 80% was spent on previously disadvantaged employees at a total investment of R33.7m, compared to R31.5m in 2009.
“We believe developing leadership at PPC is a valuable investment in guiding the mind-sets of our leaders and equipping them for their respective roles,” he said.
Where appropriate, PPC aims to align its development initiatives with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Its academy consists of five legs – sales and marketing, operations, mining, leadership and management, and technical skills.
He said that in April last year, the third intake of seven students from PPC and 20 from Barloworld’s Plascon began their course at PPC’s sales and marketing academy and in November, the second group of learners graduated with a level 4 qualification in customer management accredited by the NQF and recognised by the European Marketing Federation.
In developing this academy, PPC and Plascon carefully identified their own needs and integrated these into a registered qualification hosted by the Services Seta.