Cargo Carriers, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed supply-chain solutions specialist, continues to contribute towards the long-term sustainability of southern Africa’s transport logistics industry by investing heavily into skills development and training.
A dearth of skills at both operational and administrative levels threatens to undermine the significant strides already made by the global road-transport fraternity over many years.
In South Africa, it remains the largest risk that reputable participants in the road transport logistics fraternity face after rampant fuel price increases, and a co-ordinated and concerted effort is, therefore, required to overcome this challenge.
Cargo Carriers has long promoted a proactive and methodical response as a solution, which starts by attracting promising young talent to the company through specially-designed apprenticeships and internships, and then retaining and nurturing these competencies over time.
In the 2018 financial year, the company’s apprenticeship programme attracted four diesel mechanics who will significantly bolster the company’s existing team of highly competent technicians.
These critical skills fulfil a vital role in the company’s strict fleet-maintenance regime, which has helped reduce operating costs and the carbon footprint by lowering fuel consumption and prolonging truck-replacement cycles.
Importantly, it has also assisted in bridging the huge void left in the industry following the demise of a formal national apprenticeship programme.
Meanwhile, Cargo Carriers’ internship programme has been just as successful in attracting many capable graduates to the company to augment fundamental administrative and support components of the business.
Last year, Cargo Carriers’ internship programme focused on sourcing emerging talent to specifically bolster key industrial engineering, information technology, finance and human resources functions.
Four resourceful graduates partook in this workplace training programme and they have all accepted full-time positions within the company.
Importantly, Cargo Carriers also identified a need to support its skills development programmes with robust succession planning.
In 2017, the company’s Development Coach Programme identified more than 20 senior employees who will be groomed and coached to eventually occupy high-level management positions throughout the group. They are now being evaluated and moderated before embarking on customised training programmes that have been designed to further hone their professional abilities.
At the same time, many enterprising employees were also afforded the opportunity to raise their business acumen by completing NQF Level qualifications, including NQF Level 1 Business Practice, NQF Level 2 Business Administration and NQF Level 3 Project Management modules.
These initiatives are part of Cargo Carriers’ substantial investment into internal and external training and skills development programmes in the 2018 financial year, alone.
It builds on the earlier successes achieved over the many years that the company has been prioritising the development of the human capital it needs to retain its standing as a leading road transport logistics partner to key industrial sectors of the economy.
Cargo Carriers’ unwavering commitment to health and safety, as well as the environment has also been a key differentiator in serving participants in highly regulated industries and, as such, training in the high SHEQ standards that have been firmly entrenched in the company over many years also remains on top of the agenda.
These initiatives are complemented at an operational level by the ongoing training of drivers who are directly involved in ensuring the safe and timely delivery of chemicals, fuels, steel and powder-based products to numerous industrial sites in the Southern African Development Community.
In 2017, Cargo Carriers again significantly strengthened its driver training initiatives, with emphasis also placed on sharpening defensive driving skills and capabilities within the company.
The course was well received by the drivers, many of who also partook in other training programmes, including in the safe transportation of dangerous goods, basic fire-fighting, operating vehicle combinations and rollover prevention.
Certainly, Cargo Carriers continues to demonstrate that it is committed to developing the competencies that are needed to operate increasingly complex supply chains and ensure excellence in the road transport logistics industry well into the future!