Skills development remains essential at Umgeni Water to enable employees to excel in their individual and organisational roles and functions and deliver on the organisation’s strategy. Umgeni Water annually compiles and submits a Workplace Skills Plan to EWSETA, which identifies the skills needs of the organisation. Skills training and development is effectively being achieved through the following avenues, amongst others:
- Training and development.
- Learnership and apprenticeship.
- Bursary programme.
- Graduate trainee programme and Internships.
- Assisted education.
Training and Development
Table 2 shows the average hours of training per employee, by gender and by employee category.
- All categories of employees were exposed to training.
- Relative to the 30:70 proportion of female to male employees, female employees received more training than male employees.
- In 2012/2013, over 13 thousand hours were spent in training and development for 644 employees yielding an average of 21.4 hours per employee trained.
Table 2 Training Hours by occupational level, gender and per employee in 2012/2013.
Learnership and Apprenticeships
In 2012/2013 forty-seven (47) learners were in training, all of which have completed their level 4 (final level) of the programme. Electrical engineering and Instruments have completed and passed their trade test and are employed as Artisan Trainees. The Mechanical Engineering learners are to complete their trade tests at the end of July 2013 after which they will be absorbed as Artisan Trainees.
Bursary and Graduate Programme
Umgeni Water has offered bursaries to thirteen (13) students for tertiary enrolment in the fields of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and in Finance. During the year, four (4) students completed their studies in Civil Engineering on schedule and are currently absorbed as Graduate Engineers.
Fifty (50) employees are on the Umgeni Water assisted education programme of which 45% are enrolled in programmes that are directly targeting critical and scarce skills for the organisation.
Graduates and In-service Trainees
Umgeni Water provided development opportunities to a total of twenty (20) graduates and in-service trainees in the year:
- Seven (7) graduates are enrolled in engineering, science and other required professional fields in the organisation. Umgeni Water’s graduate trainee programme is a two-year mentorship programme aligned to guidelines provided by professional registration bodies, such as, South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions in the case of scientists.
- Thirteen (13) students from the Institute of Higher Learning were recruited into the Work Integrated Learning Programme, which is a one-year mentorship programme that provides continuous integrated theoretical and practical learning experience. The students are exposed to learning in Laboratory / Analytical methods and Process Control. Students trained by Umgeni Water are generally successful in gaining employment within Umgeni Water or elsewhere in the sector after completing their development programmes.
In addition, in partnership with National Treasury, Umgeni Water continued to implement the graduate development programme of engineers, technologists, process controllers and technicians with specific emphasis on meeting the skills shortages in the municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and OR Tambo District Municipality in Eastern Cape. As part of this programme, forty four (44) trainees were enrolled for a period of five years.
One hundred and thirty eight (138) employees from age fifty five (55) to sixty five (65) were exposed to pre-retirement training and counselling. This is undertaken annually, aligned to the expected number of retirees and assists employees with managing their retirement benefits.
Key Memberships and Associations
Organisational and employee memberships are shown in Table 10.5. These straddle governance and risk, water, science and engineering, natural resources and social impact management, business, finance and accounting, standards, occupational health and safety, amongst others. These help ensure the organisation keeps abreast in its core fields, participates in sector knowledge sharing and retains and enhances its core and distinctive competencies.
|Governance and Risk||Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA)
Institute of Risk Management South Africa
(IRMSA) Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA)
|Financial and Business||South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Association of Corporate Treasurers of Southern Africa (ACTSA)
National Business Initiative (NBI)
Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB)
|Product Quality, Infrastructure Stability,
Research, Innovation, Science and Technology
|Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA)
South African Association of Water Utilities (SAAWU) International Desalinisation Association
South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers International Association of Hydrological Sciences
|American Water Works Association (AWWA)
International Water Association (IWA) Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE)
construction industry development board (cidb)
South African Institute of Chemical Engineers (SAIChE) Project Management Institute
|Community and Environmental Sustainability, Science and Technology||International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIAsa)
South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP)
Institute of Waste Management
|Employee and Leadership Development , Operational Resiliency,
|Institute of Information Technology Professional of South Africa (IITPSA)
South African National Standards Association (SABS)
South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO)
South African Institute of Draughting
Electrical Contractors’ Association
South African Right of Way Association (SARWA) Institute of Safety Management
Fire Protection Association of South Africa
South African Board of People Practice (SABPP)
South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing
Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) State Owned Entities Procurement Forum (SOEPF) Society of South African Archivists (SASA)
Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)