The Pragma Academy, which has been in existence for the last ten years, has signed two new contracts to offer specific asset management training at the Ekurhuleni Municipality as well as Transnet. The Academy, which offers a range of training courses, has as its main aim the improvement of physical asset management practices at clients in need of the service throughout South Africa as well as parts of the African continent.
Says Billy Wilson, Academy Manager of Pragma Africa: “The training we developed for Ekurhuleni is specially customised for the power distribution industry and will focus on the critical areas. Even our infamous OMM (?) game has been customised with assets specifically within the power distribution industry. We were very particular that the finer details such as figures, Rand values, statistics, reports and so forth are customised, all within the Pragma way.
“We’re ready to deliver the first phase of training, which will be based on the Asset Management Advancement Programme (AMAP). We’ll be running four days of training per month for a period of 18 months. Each group of 12 delegates, including the entire engineering workforce, will do one day of theory and one day of practical a month later which will include group exercises and discussion as well as an assessment at the end of each course.”
According to Wilson, this project has really been a team effort. “From a Pragma point of view, Juan Botha was integral in terms of his ability to develop the content to the specific requirements and Pierre Vermaak spent a lot of time with me and Juan to ensure we got to the desired end product. Also, the client took ownership of what the final deliverable would be. We didn’t just talk the talk, but walked the walk with our training modules.”
Wilson also got the heads-up from Transnet Freight Rail where he recently offered several training courses to a group of Lifting Machinery Inspectors (LMIs). Training included the fundamentals of asset management, maintenance planning and scheduling, maintenance plan development, root cause analysis and project management. The average course rating was a whopping 98%, which is unheard of in the training industry. Says Wilson: “Transnet was extremely satisfied, which resulted in Pragma being requested to run four days of training per month for the next year on SANS inspection compliance training. We’re delighted with this contract as well as the recommendation that all other divisions contract us to do their asset management training where we’ll be focusing on our Asset Management Best Practice series.”
Wilson’s new business model has put the Pragma Academy on a completely new level and has sparked the development of several exciting enhancements such as an engineering career mind map from artisan level right through to GM. “Our unique business model looks at every area from an asset management perspective and covers the skills gaps in each of these areas. While many companies are currently investing in apprenticeship programmes, these apprentices, as well as staff being promoted to more senior roles, often lack a basic theoretical and practical understanding of what physical asset management entails. The Pragma Academy aims to rectify this imbalance through theoretically sound, yet practically applicable learning interventions.”
All the Pragma Academy courses are developed in line with PAS 55 principles and are accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) through the South African Asset Management Association (SAAMA).
Clients include some top names such as the Transnet Group, Fresenius Group, Goldfields, Botswana Breweries, Sasol Group, Nampak Group, Debswana, Parmalat, Murray & Roberts, all major Utilities, Rainbow Farms, Eskom, Rotek, Nkomati Mine, Tiger Brands, Aveng Group, Bravo Group, BHP Billiton, Sun City Resort, Clover SA, Rand Water, Arcelor Mittal SA, Pioneer Foods, DBSA, Engen, Exxaro, Aspen Pharmaceuticals, Mercedes, IDC, Powertech Transformers, Umgeni Water, De Beers, Paarl Media and MTN, to name but a few.