Pragma’s acclaimed Student Training Programme has clinched another prize, this time at the annual Achiever Awards, where it was recognised as the Best Training Programme offered by a large company.
Hosted annually as part of the Skills Development Summit, the Achiever Awards honours companies, government departments and organisations for their contribution to skills development and training programmes within the South African context.
Since its inception in 2011, Pragma’s three-week STP programme has grown in leaps and bounds with applications increasing significantly on an annual basis. This paid programme is aimed at B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng (Industrial, Mechanical, Electrical, Electrical and Computer or Mechatronic) students in their third or fourth year of study.
The content of the programme ensures that the students are introduced to the concepts of physical asset management while being exposed to the work of an Asset Care Engineer. As part of their group work, they are assigned real projects at some of Pragma’s clients where they get the opportunity to research, analyse and find a solution for a problem under the guidance of Pragma’s Asset Care Engineers. On the final day of the programme, each team get the opportunity to present their findings to a panel of Pragma’s senior management.
While a significant focus is placed on learning and acquiring specialist industry knowledge, the development of soft skills is equally important. Pragma’s STP programme takes a holistic approach by putting the students on a path of self-discovery. While they get the opportunity to rub shoulders with Pragma’s senior management during a structured series of mentoring sessions, they also partake in a strengths finder questionnaire based on the Gallup model. By learning more about their inherent strengths, each student gets to analyse and understand their own, unique strengths and how to play to their strengths throughout their lives.
“I’ve learnt more about myself and a lot of other things I would have never had the chance to learn anywhere else,” says Lerato Mogole, a member of the 2018 STP Alumni.
“After eight instalments of this enriching programme, the time has come for change. This year we invited STP alumni, who are currently working for Pragma, to join the organising committee. After all these years it is rewarding to see Darius Booyens, Nina van Rooyen and Henrico Swanepoel now taking the lead and ploughing back in the lives of young people. It makes all the effort worth it,” says Pragma Chief People Officer, Stéphan Pieterse, who sees this programme as an opportunity to attract some of South Africa’s brightest young talent.
According to Manpower South Africa’s 2018 Talent Shortage Survey, engineers are the fourth hardest skill to find. Interestingly, the top drivers of talent shortages are a lack of experience and a lack of the required hard skills.
“We believe that proper physical asset management practices will play a critical role in creating a sustainable future for our country. By sharing our knowledge with young, aspiring engineers, we want to do our bit in preparing them for the challenges they will face in the future,” says Pragma Chief Operating Officer Attie Nieuwoudt.
We checked in with some STP alumni, to see how they’re doing. Here are some of their responses:
- “Pragma helped me to understand who I am.” (Jane Shabangu, Sourcing Analyst, Tiger Brands)
- “Attending the STP changed my view on life. It made me view everything through the lens of my strengths. But, unfortunately, not all companies are like Pragma.” (Themba Sibisi, Product Technician, Denel Vehicle Systems)
- “It exposed me to the world of Physical Asset Management and enlightened me about the possibilities that exist for an industrial engineer.” (Tebogo Molobye, Industrial Engineer – Continuous Improvement, Murray & Roberts Power & Energy)
To learn more about Pragma’s STP programme, visit our STP web page for more information.