PPC, Plascon, Seta in joint training venture, South Africa

PPC, Plascon, Seta in joint training venture, South Africa
Published: 18 April 2007

Pretoria Portland Cement Company (PPC) has launched its Academy of Sales and Marketing. 
The academy is a joint venture between PPC, Plascon and the Services sector education and training authority (Seta). It represents an industry first in the cement and mining industry.  
John Gomersall, chief executive of PPC, says the company is committed to ongoing skills development and lifelong learning.”  
“A training academy focused on developing a new breed of sales and marketing personnel is a first for the cement and mining industry and aims to meet the growing infrastructural development demands of the country,” he says.  
The courses have been designed and accredited to meet the ever increasing demands of the country’s rapidly developing infrastructure. Coursework is based on fully accredited programmes and these programmes are registered on the National Qualifications Framework. They are designed to allow employees to progress from an entry level post through to a senior position. 
“The philosophy is simple,” says Salim Abdul Kader, director of organisational performance at PPC. “As the industry benchmark we want to offer an employee every opportunity to build a lifelong career with the company.”  
In addition to the programmes being accredited locally, some are also recognised by the European Marketing Federation, making the skills fully exportable. 
When signing up the learner will enter into an agreement with his or her employer and with the Seta, recognising that a formal learnership has been entered into. 
The course material will be covered over 18 months and will consist of six modules, or week-long block releases. These modules will be conducted at PPC’s group training centre at its Slurry operation near Mafikeng.  
The learners will then be expected to apply what they have learnt to their individual workplace and will have to provide portfolios of evidence and undergo workplace assessments to ensure that they are on track.  
“The combination of block releases and workplace assessment will ensure that a new breed of sophisticated sales and marketing experts will enter the cement and mining industry,” says Kader.  
“The expertise gained at the academy will allow our employees to use their new-found skills to the benefit of our clients in this rapidly evolving market,” says Andre Lambrecht, chief executive officer of Barloworld Coatings.  
In July, PPC will also launch the PPC Operations Academy, focusing on the operations side of the business in response to the country’s critical need for these skills.  
The Group Training Centre boasts ISO 9001:2000 certification and trains fitters and turners, electricians and platers/welders to the exacting standards of the Mining Qualification Authority (MQA) and the Manufacturing and Engineering Seta (Mersta) standards.