We launched our internship programme for University of Technology students in 2013 and has since offered in-service training to 18 students. In 2011, we also started a formal university student training programme, specifically aimed at B. Eng. Industrial, Mechanical and Electrical students in their third or fourth year of study, for which we have won numerous industry awards. To date, 48 students have completed this programme.
Says Stéphan Pieterse, our People and Organisational Development Manager: “Skills Development is of the utmost importance to Pragma. We create opportunities for University of Technology engineering students to complete their required six month practical training at our Asset Care Centre offices. Furthermore, we invite unemployed students and graduates to attend our Academy courses, such as the three-day training programme in the enterprise asset management landscape.”
Pragma currently offers internships or work integrated learning to four students. Pieterse continues: “Students apply and are taken through a selection process similar to the normal recruitment process. These students are mostly in their third-year studying towards the National Diploma in Industrial Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, UNISA or the University of Johannesburg.”
According to Pieterse, internships are necessary in order for learners to graduate. “They need to spend a period of time undergoing in-service training or work integrated learning, to gain practical exposure in the industry. It is also very valuable to Pragma, as this gives us the opportunity to assess the young talent and create a pipeline of future employees or introduce these employees to partners within our industry.”
Pieterse adds that they also offer a formal student training programme in June and July each year aimed at third and fourth year engineering students. “Since the launch of our first official University Student Training Programme (STP), the three-week programme, has been an enormous success and won various industry accolades. In 2015 we were honoured with three awards at the Skills Development Summit.
They were the following:
- Best Innovative Training Programme,
- Best Graduate Training Programme and
- Best Training Programme (Large Company).
We view this programme as an important opportunity to attract the brightest young talent from SA’s universities. It also offers us the opportunity to introduce future engineers to the field of enterprise asset management and the value that could be unlocked by responsible asset owners when partnering with Pragma.”
Since 2011, Pragma has already offered employment opportunities to twelve learners from the Student Training Programme and students who completed their internships. “We believe that through these programmes we manage to equip students with a solid grounding in the field of enterprise asset management. South Africa is in dire need of engineers that understand the importance of managing our country’s physical assets including roads, water treatment plants, power stations and distribution networks, mines, manufacturing facilities, hospitals and more. Our country needs this focus in order to remain competitive globally, but also to ensure a sustainable future for all South Africans.”
He concludes: “Pragma has recently achieved a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) rating. Our focus has been on creating access to the economy through the educational upliftment of our youth and the development and improvement of educational infrastructure. It’s a privilege to build a better future of this country through our various student programmes.”
Pragma is in the process of recruiting students to fill Internship positions in 2017. Third year N. Dip. (Industrial) students who require twelve months of practical workplace experience and B. Eng. (Industrial), B. Sc. Eng. (Industrial), N. Dip. (Industrial) graduates who require twelve months of practical workplace experience in order to increase their employability, can apply online at www.pragmaworld.net.
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