Training and development
The Venture’s long-term interests depend on its ability to attract and retain the best people and to transform our workforces. It identifies employees with high potential at every level and is committed to providing them with the support and tools they need to develop.
The Venture uses surveys to assess employees’ satisfaction levels and to find out about issues that it may need to address. It records and addresses these issues and provides its employees with feedback in this regard.
Since 2011 the Venture has extended its annual individual performance management and development reviews to include all supervisory level employees (16% of employees), introduced team performance reviews for all its employees and extended annual individual performance management and development reviews to include supervisory level employees (16% of the workforce).
All the Venture’s employees have job descriptions and action plans, which they can use to set career objectives for themselves and to measure their own performance. Its managers are trained to conduct performance reviews and give effective feedback.
Each operation in the Venture has a workplace skills planning committee, which is responsible for identifying the operation’s specific training requirements. The Venture structures its training to meet these specific needs. This includes providing training to local community members in skills that will equip them to seek employment in its operations.During 2012 120 historically disadvantaged South Africans participated in the Venture’s learnership programmes and 590 historically disadvantaged South Africans completed skills development programmes.
The Venture, as part of Glencore, shares a joint training provider accreditation with Glencore's coal operations. Senior responsibility for training and development in the Venture lies with the Executive Director: Human Resources of the Venture.
The Venture’s operations are spread across three different provinces, which requires it to provide training centres at most of its operations. The Steelpoort Development Centre in Limpopo province provides training facilities for the Lion ferrochrome plant, the Lydenburg ferrochrome plant and the Thorncliffe, Helena and Magareng mines. It also provides training to employees of other mining companies in the area. The Centre not only trains members of the community in skills that will equip them to work in the Venture’s operations, but also offers training in marketable skills including bricklaying, welding and household electrical skills. The Centre also offers a bridging programme that prepares local students for tertiary education.
To address the shortage of mining, engineering and related skills the Venture offers bursaries for fulltime university and technikon studies in the mining, electrical, metallurgical and mechanical engineering fields, geology, occupational hygiene, financial management, information technology, science and commercial accounting.
It also offers graduate trainee positions, work placement for students as well as financial assistance focusing on members of the communities in which it operates. A mentorship and coaching programme supports employees who receive educational assistance, those who have entered into learnership agreements and those identified for accelerated development. The Venture also provides fulltime adult basic education training (ABET) for its employees and portable skills training that equips employees for career endings.
The Venture invites managers whom it has identified as having leadership potential to participate in a leadership programme where members of its senior management team mentor participants. It also provides them with additional training, support and career development opportunities. Over 80% of the managers participating in our leadership development programmes are historically disadvantaged South Africans.
Glencore employs a devolved business model in the operations it manages with responsibility and authority being delegated to business units and with management teams expected to run independent businesses. While managers new to this type of culture might find it challenging, the Venture invests in developing the kind of leaders that will support and reinforce it. It offers programmes through leading South African academic institutions that support its leadership requirements.