Sustainability report  

Coaching and mentorship >

The Reunert coaching and mentorship programme was introduced in 2003, to enable staff to benefit from the structured coaching from experienced employees.

The programme is aimed at the retention and development of high-performing staff, and particularly to attract and attain high-calibre staff from previously disadvantaged communities. The programme assists in integrating new employees, and is instrumental in the development and promotion of existing employees. To date, 284 staff participated in the programme, of which a significant number have already attended follow-up sessions.

This year the Reunert Core Coaches initiative was launched, producing 19 coaches who will be deployed in a number of Reunert companies. They will be trained to qualify to a stage one international qualification. This will enable the group to accelerate the programme and to ensure that regular follow-up takes place. As part of a scientific and integrated approach, both mentors and protégés attend an initial training programme which provides the framework for future career and personal development. Not only does the programme assist employees to focus on career goals, but it assists participants also to understand themselves and their relationship with others. This process causes employees to become more effective in the business environment, whilst at the same time assisting them to improve the enjoyment of their personal lives.

As many of these staff members take part in accelerated development programmes, significant emphasis is given to achieving equity with integrity and understanding the correlation between output and remuneration. Achievement of staff who attended the programme continues to be most encouraging.

Other training activities >

During 2008, all Reunert companies submitted their training reports and workplace skills plans to the relevant Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA).

Training courses conducted during the review period spanned the following levels in the group:

  Occupational level Total 
  Managers 281 
  Professionals 223 
  Technicians and associated professionals 287 
  Clerks 381 
  Services and sales 656 
  Skilled workers 42 
  Plant operators 998 
  Elementary occupations
  Apprentices/trainees 57 
  Total number of employees trained – 2008 2 927 

Telecom Cables introduced a rejuvenation and upskilling programme at their Brits plant in 2006. Since then, 150 well-educated, but unemployed, black youths were employed as operators. These individuals are earmarked for development and promotion into technical, managerial and administrative positions. At least 148 of these operators were, during 2008, enrolled on specific training courses to give effect to the company’s strategy. At least 14 operators were promoted in 2008 and 20 are enrolled for further tertiary studies through the company’s education assistance programme. All operators are currently being assessed with the view to recognising their previous learning experience to attain an appropriate qualification. Where necessary, further training is provided.

CBI-electric: low voltage received an award for their outstanding contribution to development training from the MERSETA (The SETA for Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services) during September 2008. The company cooperates with the MERSETA in government’s initiative to increase the number of tradesmen through the Accelerated Artisan Training Programme. Low voltage has indentured three black apprentices to assist the pilot project, and two fitters and turners and one electrician are currently undergoing 12 months’ practical training, which will condense a three-year apprenticeship into an 18-month training period. The first group of apprentices is expected to be writing exams and conducting trade tests in February 2009, and the results will determine whether the programme will be expanded. The CBI-electric: low-voltage technical internship programme will end in December 2008, enabling the company to employ two engineers on a permanent basis.

CBI-electric: african cables introduced jointing and termination unit standards in 2008. These were registered with the South African Qualifications Authority.

The purpose of this qualification is to recognise the skills and knowledge required to terminate joint, upgrade and install medium voltage cables. The learning material was subsequently developed and the first 15 trainee jointers are currently enrolled on this programme running until July 2009.

The rapid expansion of Nashua Mobile’s distribution system has necessitated the introduction of a fast, high-quality and standardised training system to ensure that customer service is maintained at the highest possible level. The company is currently introducing a learning management system which will standardise training activities throughout the distribution system. The system is expected to improve the company’s ability to market its products and services, to speed up training delivery and to enable real-time assessment of improvements achieved. In addition, it will enable the company to reduce the training time required for new entrants and to simplify the training process throughout the Nashua Mobile group. The company has introduced a structured management development programme and career pathing for its entire staff, which will assist in attracting and retaining key skills.

Reutech Radar Systems (RRS) is a major contributor to the University of Stellenbosch’s Sunstep initiative. The Sunstep programme provides equipment and training to 25 science educators in 25 new schools over a three-day period on an annual basis. In 2007, an estimated 9 400 learners across all nine provinces were reached through this project. The course focuses on the assembling and understanding of electronic kits, soldering skills and preparing science teachers to understand the electronics module that was added to the new science curriculum in the country. Teachers are taught how to set up their own test and exam papers by using the material provided by Sunstep. In addition, the educators are trained to set up circuits by using crocodile clips. In 2009 the educators will be able to order electronic kits and to independently conduct workshops with learners as well as to transfer skills and knowledge to the learners.

RRS strongly supports the technology and human resources for industry programming (THRIP) which support research and technology development as an initiative to stimulate the South African industry. This brings together the best of South African researchers, academics and industry leaders in funding partnerships that enable participants to improve the quality of their products, services and people. RRS, in conjunction with the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, has been involved in THRIP for the last 12 years. An amount of R500 000 per annum is invested in the project.

Panasonic Business Systems conducted a comprehensive management and skills assessment during 2008. This has resulted in the improvement of recruitments, induction and skills development practices. The company has introduced a management development programme, which will focus on business and sales management skills. This 12-month programme, which has both an academic and practical component, includes a Harvard Business School online module.

Bursaries >

In addition to Reunert College bursaries, many Reunert companies have their own established bursary schemes, for both employees’ children and disadvantaged youths.

Telecom Cables provided 60 bursaries for the children of employees from previously disadvantaged communities. The company has an annual commitment to grant such bursaries to a maximum amount of R600 000. A former bursary holder was recently appointed in the company’s finance department and this year a black female environmental specialist, conducted her practical training at the company.

Since 1997, Nashua Office Automation has provided a scholastic assistance programme to those employees who are unable to afford the escalating costs associated with school fees. Nashua pays a percentage of tuition fees for either primary or secondary schools.

CBI-electric: african cables has offered a bursary scheme for employees since 1982. In 1998 this was expanded to include students outside the company. The main objective is to assist children from previously disadvantaged communities. In the last 11 years the company has granted 343 bursaries and during 2008, 20 new bursaries were granted including eight to engineering students and five to students who are studying accounting. During the 2008 academic year an amount of R350 000 was made available for bursary purposes.

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