On-site Learning Gives Apprentices Invaluable Work Experience

“Giving unemployed learners a chance to gain new skills and vital work
experience is a phenomenal contribution to the individual, the local
community and even countrywide economic growth and social upliftment,”
says Goodyear People Development Manager Carla McIntosh.

She is proud of the company’s role of host employer to the trade
apprentices being trained in collaboration with reputable Eastern Cape
education providers, business partners and MERSETA (the Manufacturing
Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training

The Uitenhage
based tyre manufacturer regularly mentors groups of
learners through the practical and experiential aspects of their
apprenticeships. The theoretical components of the three year course
are handled by education providers and business partners, while the
practical component is hosted by Goodyear
South Africa

“It is an opportunity for learners to absorb the ways of the working
world and is ‘teaching people to fish’. Even though unemployment is
currently high, a qualification and some work experience will open
doors to job opportunities that were closed to these individuals
before, especially within their field.

“A skill is something no one can ever take from you. These are artisans
in the making; they are learning the trade skills of electricians,
fitters and instrument technicians, all of which have been identified
as scarce and critical for economic growth.

“Goodyear feels strongly that it must partner up with local education
providers, business partners and MERSETA to fill the critical skills
gaps in the labour market. Aside from the opportunity for benevolence,
an added benefit of these programmes for the company is that they
create a pool of possible recruits for the future.”

The Eastern Cape province has high levels of unemployment but economic
and industrial growth has been stunted largely because of a scarcity of
skills. Since mid 2008, Goodyear has skilled 35 people and continues to
partner up in similar relationships.

“Goodyear is not involved with any funding in this at all. Our
contribution is solely in terms of time, shared expertise, mentoring,
supervising and hosting learners on site at our plant. As school
leavers from previously disadvantaged communities, these learners have
no experience of the working world, which makes the day to day, on the
job insight they gain at Goodyear invaluable.

“Just like any other Goodyear employee, they are formally inducted into
the organisation and then coupled with a mentor, usually a manger in
their specific area, to ensure that they receive the required practical
and experiential training.”

contribution to skills development also has a positive
impact on its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) status, which is
currently the highest in the tyre manufacturing industry.

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