ABB embraces World Youth Skills Day with its development initiatives

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  • From 2020 to date, 60 graduates have been permanently employed at ABB
  • ABB hires graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds, female engineers and people living with disabilities
  • ABB’s global initiatives align with localisation policies

In recognition of World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, leading technology and solutions provider ABB acknowledges that skills development and representation are integral to every organisation’s success. “They are top of mind, while inclusive learning is important. We demystify misconceptions about our industry and ensure we hire female engineers, people living with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Mervin Munsamy, Human Resources Director.

“We ensure that our employees, as part of their development activities, become members of the bodies related to their area of specialisation. We pride ourselves on the high standard of output we deliver,” says Munsamy. For example, a programme is in place to assist engineers to become professionally registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa.

Such has been the success of ABB’s graduate programme that, from 2020 to date, 60 graduates have been permanently employed at the technology leader. In addition, 80% of the candidates from the company’s training programmes have found gainful employment.

“Our aim as an engineering company is to afford all youth the opportunity to enter our industry, including disabled people,” says Munsamy. He believes that continuous skills development is critical for sustainability in line with ABB’s purpose: “We ensure a sustainable and resource-sufficient future incorporating youth who are the next generation of leaders.”

The graduate programme is divided into two programmes, namely support (HR, logistics, finance, supply chain, marketing and IT, to mention but a few) and engineering (mostly electrical, computer systems, mechanical, industrial and mechatronics). “We do not look at experience, but our interview process is quiet demanding, so it shows someone who has zeal and is innovative,” says Refilwe Mocumi, Human Resources Services Specialist: Learning & Development and ELCM.

ABB offers year-round bursaries and training. It has internal systems in place to carry out career health checks and provide opportunities for expansion where possible. “We encourage a lot of check-in sessions between managers and employees,” explains Mocumi.

“Our global initiatives align to a country’s localisation policies in relation to skills development. It is seamless and allows us to drive initiatives to support what the country requires. Before placing any advert we look at a myriad of factors such as a shortage of skills, retirement and acquiring new business and the skillsets needed. Then the role is mapped to the different roles to develop new skills. From there we go through performance discussions to talk about achievements and areas of development,” highlights Mocumi.

Mocumi’s role involves recruiting young talent into the business to ensure a skills pipeline that can function successful internally and externally. “I also ensure that these individuals go through soft skills and a development programme through one of our business schools. This is done to fast-track them in any work environment.” She also oversees employee development to ensure they perform optimally in any chosen career path.


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