PUTTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE: DRIVING TRUE WORKPLACE SKILLS IN MINING

By Minopex

The way we operate in the mining industry is evolving at a rapid pace. From designing economically viable mines for complex ore bodies, to running the digital race and keeping up with new technology, the pressure is on to develop a highly skilled workforce that can deliver the necessary needs of the industry.

While academic institutions provide the foundation for our future workforce, the more immediate requirement for each company is to provide practical upskilling opportunities which would ensure the success and long-term sustainability for the organisation and the industry. As a long-term strategy, organisations should work with academic institutions to identify the future capability gaps, then modify and design a suitable learning and development path for the next generation.

According to Rashnee Chetty, Group Technical and Business Improvement Manager at Minopex, a DRA Global Group company, organisation and graduates need to commit to learning and development after academic studies to drive the evolution of the workforce. “Most engineering academics are taught according to steady state laws, perfect theoretical scenarios and are given the perception that time is irrelevant. Furthermore, it is based on the 2nd Industrial Revolution framework. In business and with the 4th Industrial Revolution in mind, this is the furthest from reality. We now find ourselves in a fast-paced, quick decision-making and constantly changing society, which requires leadership, critical thinking, creativity, interpersonal and empathy skills.”

An interesting quote by Alvin Toffler, still very much relevant today, states that: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. This view is indeed relevant in the sense that the current workforce will need to obtain skills and education to ensure the success of future industries and must be agile enough to obtain in demand skills and experience.

Enter the Minopex Engineer in Training Programme

Minopex, understand the learning and development needs of today and the future. We have developed and implemented a programme that motivates employees to unlock their full potential, while cementing the power of a values-based culture.

“The Minopex Graduate Exchange Programme, helps burgeoning engineers experience various phases of studies, engineering design, commissioning, digital projects as well as operations and maintenance under the guidance of experienced mentors. With a proven structure, graduates develop into knowledge-based engineers. Accountability and responsibility grow as their experience expands, ensuring they develop comprehensive skills and confidence,” confirms Chetty.

Enter the Minopex Engineer in Training Programme

  • To drive a values-based culture
  • Engineering design, commissioning, operations start-up and readiness skills
  • Understanding the requirement of each discipline and employee from an operational and maintenance perspective
  • Agile project management
  • The importance of achieving goals as a collective / team as well as achieving personal goals
  • To eradicate complacency and to strive towards continuous improvement and operational excellence

“This strategic training approach guarantees, that each graduate is given the support to enhance their skills and deliver the business needs. It is a highly strategic approach to learning and development,” she adds. “With a holistic approach, the programme delivers well-rounded engineers who strive to meet clear goals and objectives throughout their training – and later in their careers.”

The Dual Benefit of Exposure to New Engineers

While the training programme certainly benefits the trainees themselves, it also holds vast benefits for the organisation. Chetty confirms that this benefit is two-fold:

01.

For the graduate, entering an environment full of incredibly experienced engineers gives them access to vast mentorship opportunities. When engineers have “been there and done that”, particularly in a challenging environment, they can offer insights into proven, practical methodologies and processes. This technical mentoring not only shows graduates what works, but also what doesn’t – and how to overcome challenges as they arise.

02.

When engineers have been part of a specific organisation for some time, they may become complacent, applying outdated methods or technology in a culture of comfort. When new graduates are brought into this environment, they may offer a fresh perspective on techniques, technology, and digital know-how.

Talent Recognition, Engagement, Retention

“Minopex, have developed sound frameworks and programmes to address talent attraction and retention. The key is to retain and manage talent effectively, while also ensuring employees understand their performance indicators, and alignment with the organisational strategy,” concludes Chetty.

For more information about Minopex’s Graduate Exchange Programme, please contact Rashnee Chetty at Rashnee.Chetty@minopex.com.