On 8 November 2018, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa proudly hosted the official opening of its Technical Training Academy situated at their Service Centre in Chloorkop. Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor attended the opening and participated in the prestigious ribbon cutting ceremony.
‘Our aim is to offer first class technical training programmes to raise the technical proficiencies and standards of our industry and to set further benchmarks for excellence on the African continent,’ states Philipp Nellessen, CEO at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions sub Sahara Africa. ‘We want to develop exceptional skills in Africa for Africa!’
‘Our decision to build a Technical Training Academy was motivated by our goal to develop exceptional candidates for our workshop and site team environments combined with the tremendous skills shortage faced by the country,’ comments Ruben Lamprecht, general manager of thyssenkrupp Service Centre. ‘This was a key driving force behind the construction of the approximately 1 300 sqm training facility which will enable us to train and upskill young people for our industry on our equipment in line with our standards to the ultimate benefit of our customers.’
thyssenkrupp’s close on R20 million investment includes a 831 sqm workshop which houses state-of-the-art equipment such as lathes, milling machines, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical simulators as well as all practical models required for the technical training. The 483 sqm first floor is equipped with high-end tools to conduct, simulate and annotate certain principles and circuitry within the classroom environment.
Customised programmes developed in-house in accordance with thyssenkrupp standards will be presented using a blend of e-learning, class room training as well as practical applications. Lamprecht explains that in addition to the four programmes which encompass a basic and advanced level as well as trade tests, there is also a community development initiative.
The Technical Training Customer Focused Programme is uniquely designed to equip apprentices with the necessary foundation-building knowledge to kick-off their careers in the industry. Artisans undergo equipment training on all products (with e-learning programmes available on some equipment), on-job training (coaching sessions, assessments via on-job task observations, practical exposure and walk-about equipment, coaching on purpose and placement of components, functionality of equipment and housekeeping), and needs/gap and critical task analysis. Lamprecht adds that artisan refresher training is also offered.
The CATS (Commercial Advancement Training Scheme) Students Programme, conducted in conjunction with the German Chamber, is a two year programme aimed at training young students.
Based on the German dual schooling system of one day in the class room and four days in the workplace, the programme provides students with practical and theoretical experience.
thyssenkrupp’s Applied Professional Learning programme is specially designed for the learner engineer intern and professional-in-training. This industry-specific programme includes planning and scheduling, project and site management as well as quality control and assurance.
The Apprentice Programmes are run over a three year period which concludes with final assessments and offers multiskilling trades such as fitters and machinists. According to Lamprecht, thyssenkrupp is planning on further investing in the development of the electrical trade specifically for millwrights which is scheduled to roll out in 2020. These Apprenticeship Programmes reach beyond the workplace to include community development through basic manual skills and entrepreneurial and owner management.
‘Taking it a step further, we are also aiming to start a programme for previously disadvantaged adults to provide them with the necessary building blocks that will enable them to sustain themselves financially,’ continues Lamprecht. ‘The idea is to provide them with basic skills and then to set them up with the necessary materials, tools and equipment to be able to operate small businesses under the guidance of thyssenkrupp personnel.’
Upon leaving thyssenkrupp’s Technical Training Academy, successful participants will be armed with vital work experience and knowledge so that they will be able to make an economic difference through the quality of training they received. By developing employees internally to feed the company’s development pipeline, thyssenkrupp is also looking beyond the here and now. Due to thyssenkrupp’s diverse product range, it is imperative that the company invests time and energy in training and nurturing apprentices to fulfil their roles within the workshop and field service environments. This includes ongoing training on new and existing equipment and processes within the thyssenkrupp field of expertise.
Also on the cards is a plan for investment in an industrial school which will see the delivery of training programmes to support thyssenkrupp customers as well as industry with supervisory development programmes.
‘thyssenkrupp is passionate about upskilling and developing our employees and that is why we walk the training talk to ensure that, through training, they add value in the workplace, whether by working for us, for a customer or endeavouring out on their own. Our fully-trained thyssenkrupp employees are equipped to in turn offer training to our customers on their operating and maintenance principles that will assist in optimising their equipment for improved performance, uptime and productivity. We are confident that our Technical Training Academy will make a significant contribution to the growth of our employees, our customers, the industry, the community as well as of our country’s economy,’ concludes Lamprecht.