Atlas Copco and Skills Development Corporation giving hope to the disabled
In a bid to contribute to the much-needed skills development and work experience of disabled people, Atlas Copco South Africa partnered with the Skills Development Corporation (SDC) 12 months ago on 4 April 2017. Atlas Copco recognises the daily challenges the disabled face both in their private lives as well as in the business world. The 12-month initiative gave a number of leaners aged between 20 and 28 the opportunity to receive skills development while simultaneously obtaining valuable experience in the work place. The learning programme, hosted at Atlas Copco House in Jet Park, Boksburg, offered learners practical work experience from Monday to Thursday; every Friday learners attended lectures in General Business Management conducted by SDC Facilitator, Nozibusiso Nkosi. “We take pride in working with our future generation, teaching them the fundamental ins and outs of a corporate setting and at the same time boost their self-esteem and much needed confidence to pursue their career goals,” comments Nozibusiso. Each learner was also given the opportunity to work in Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique and Power Technique business areas as well as at Epiroc (previously Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Technique). Learners also spent time at Atlas Copco’s Academy as well as in the Distribution Centre. A sojourn in reception presented the learners with valuable experience in professional conduct and communication when welcoming visitors including customers and suppliers to Atlas Copco. March 23rd 2018 marked the last day of the learnership programme. With great vibes, optimisms and enthusiasm filling the air, the learners proudly accepted a certificate of completion from Atlas Copco and an accredited SETA certification from the SDC. Armed with the skills and experiences gained form the programme, learners can go out into the work space, confident in the knowledge that they have career possibilities and that they too can make a difference. The positive feedback from the respective learners clearly indicated that the programme was a life-changing experience. Desmond Matloga expressed his extreme gratitude to Atlas Copco and the SDC for giving him the opportunity to partake in this initiative. “They not only gave me the motivation to make a difference in my life but also the inspiration to further my studies and to work hard towards my goals.” Thandeka Mamba, another learner who participated in the programme says that what stood out the most for her was working in the SHEQ division, so much so that she plans to pursue a career in helping employees look after their health and safety in the work place. “When I first started this programme, I was very shy and was not able to talk freely to people but now I have gained the confidence I need to work with people and to do so with dignity and respect.” According to Atlas Copco Group Human Resources Manager, Wendy Buffa-Pace, they observed how each learner grew as individuals, each showing their own unique strengths which they are now able to channel towards making career choices. “As a proud Employer of Choice, Atlas Copco strives to give our future generation the resources and the support they so desperately need to pursue a career with self-assurance and certainty of a bright future. We are honoured to have had the opportunity to work alongside the SDC on this excellent initiative that contributes to the knowledge expansion of these learners so that they can secure a sustainable future by further building their education,” concludes Wendy. Situated in Cresta, Johannesburg, the SDC is a level 2 B-BBEE contributor and an accredited learning institution who provides excellent, affordable and need specific training to maximise skills opportunity in any company. Through their strategically specialised structure they can run any number of learners in any industry, both employed by organisations or source employed learners. Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2016, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 101 (BEUR 11) and about 45 000 employees. Learn more at www.atlascopco.co.za.