Training, the power of potential

By March 3, 2024Cape Town 2023, Documents
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South Africa has a dire shortage of critical skills. The rail industry relies heavily on artisans to keep wheels on the tracks, and as a growing player in the African rail market, Traxtion’s challenge was not only training highly skilled staff for its own operations, but also playing a major part in skills development.

The issues underpinning Traxtion’s commitment to skills development include a shortage of skilled artisans in the rail industry; a lack of fulfilment and career growth in the company; its cross-border activities have shown a need for supplemental training; people who are differently abled are often unskilled and not given opportunities and a lack of gender and race representation.

Traxtion looked at where and how it could assist both the industry and the company to improve skills and provide quality training. The foundation of this was investing first into internal training.

In 2022, Traxtion funded a range of study disciplines, including Incoterms, Business Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Total Quality Management using external training providers. In the past five years, 55 internal staff bursaries have been allocated and 22 internal promotions were awarded.

Traxtion also looked at its contribution towards addressing the supply of scarce skills in the rail sub-sector, more especially when looking at the transport sector’s employment profile (predominantly 35-to-55-year-olds). The company is keenly aware of the dire consequences of not being able to retain or transfer knowledge and expertise in the rail industry.

A R100 million investment into Phase 1 of Traxtion’s Rail Services Hub in Rosslyn, Pretoria enabled the expansion of the Rail School which is accredited by the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) and the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO). The training facility allows Traxtion to develop and train the next generation of rail industry workers. The facility also meets the requirements set out by the QCTO as a Trade Test Centre (TTC) for Diesel-Electric Fitters. More than 700 drivers and 75 red seal technicians have been trained, there is a training footprint in eight African countries, and the first female artisan qualified in 2023. Traxtion has also been offering disability learnerships (with a third-party provider) over the past three years.

Year of Publication: 2023

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