It is a well known fact that South Africa is suffering from a skills shortage which could impact heavily on the sustainability of many sectors. It is thus FleetWatch welcomes the news that Continental has hired around 1 500 university graduates and young professionals worldwide for 2013, creating a pool of dynamic individuals that help shape the company and develop sustainable mobility for the future.
Annually, Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) recruits between 20 and 25 graduates and in-service trainees from various disciplines.
The company’s comprehensive graduate and in-service training places it at the forefront of the development of young business and technology leaders of the future.
“Attracting and retaining talent is a crucial asset that has to be carefully managed in today’s globally competitive business environment,’ says Gishma Johnson, corporate communications manager at CTSA.
Continental offers a wide variety of specialised fields for graduates, including natural science, engineering, business administration, finance, marketing and human resources.
“Worldwide, Continental employs roughly 30 000 engineers in the areas of production, and research and development,’ Johnson says. “Of the almost 1 500 trainees hired worldwide, approximately 1 200 are from the engineering sector and 300 from the commercial area sector.
“In South Africa, particular focus is given to engineering due to the critical shortage of qualified electrical, mechanical and industrial engineers.’
Through its graduate and in-service training programs, Continental creates a competitive advantage by selecting, developing and promoting the best people in this world-aligned initiative.
A practical training model and program has been developed for the global and local graduate interventions and the key objective is to cultivate and enhance the competencies of these young professionals for current or future positions in the company.
“The Graduate in Training program empowers these graduates to obtain a broad understanding of each division within the organisation,’ Johnson states. “The 12-month program is designed to equip the graduate with the necessary leadership skills through personal development and extensive on-the-job training.’
In line with the global nature of its business, over the past year nine trainees from CTSA have been nominated for specific international assignments. “This is a superb accolade for South Africa and gives the trainees great exposure to the company on a global level,’ she says.
Candidates are mainly selected from local tertiary institutions. CTSA has a long-term relationship with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, which is its primary recruitment partner.
According to Pamela de Wit, management development specialist at CTSA, the company’s Graduate In Training and In-Service Training program has been extremely successful in promoting the development of new talent.
“The support from knowledgeable experts and committed mentors, along with the structured training program, has ensured that we produce graduates and future employees of the highest caliber,’ she says.
Furthermore, with the retention rate of 85% in various fields, the company has talented young professionals in America and Germany.
“Currently we have twenty South Africans working at Continental operations worldwide. The program allows opportunities for the company and for the graduates to seek the best job for the person and the best person for the job.’ De Wit explains.