Barloworld Equipment launched its new graduate development programme on 27th January 2016.
The earthmoving equipment company has been at the forefront of training engineering (and other) graduates for many years, many of whom have taken up leadership positions within the organisation.
The graduate development programme is a 24-month work-integrated learning experience. It is structured to ensure graduates gain the broadest work exposure possible in Barloworld Equipment’s key operational areas and an in-depth knowledge of the workings of each business unit. This is to ensure that once they take up leadership positions within the company, they have a good overall understanding of the business and how all the units work together, to deliver the quality and expertise Barloworld Equipment’s customers have come to expect.
The programme is a Barloworld Equipment southern Africa initiative. The company operates in 11 African countries including South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The graduates will have the opportunity to do work rotations in different territories, and on completion may find work opportunities within the Barloworld Equipment business.
Investing in its people is a top priority for Barloworld Equipment and in 2014 the company spent in excess of R304 million on staff training. A key focus area is diversity and inclusion, which is taken very seriously by the company’s leadership and informs company policies and decision-making processes. This includes gender diversity, with Barloworld Equipment committed to growing the number of women engineers and artisans in its ranks. Various studies have shown that companies with gender-diverse leadership perform better, deliver better results and higher returns for their shareholders.
“That is why I am extremely delighted to announce that of the 10 graduates on our programme this year, eight are women, seven of whom are engineering graduates and one an IT business management graduate,” said Francis Graham, Barloworld Equipment Executive Director: HR.
He added that the high-value investment Barloworld Equipment is making in the programme is an investment in the company’s future. “We see a massive shortage of skills in the top leadership tier in the fields of engineering, mining and technical. What we’re aiming at is building the future leadership of our company and a specialist skills pipeline. We want to ensure we have a pipeline of female engineers and women in specialist technical roles within the organisation.”
The graduate development programme comprises work rotation, technical training, personal development, and mentorship. Each graduate is assigned an engineer as a mentor to walk the two-year journey with them. The mentors will provide expert advice and guide graduates as they gain organisational knowledge and learn about Barloworld Equipment’s operations, processes, policies and culture.
On successful completion of the programme and depending on the company’s needs at the time of completion, graduates will have the opportunity to follow several different career paths within Barloworld Equipment, becoming project managers, operations, site, service or workshop managers, moving into sales or becoming commissioning technicians.