Liesl Venter, Freight News
With acute skills shortages in the logistics sector, it is imperative that companies invest in training. Securing funding and finding reputable, accredited training providers, however, remains the biggest challenge, says Nombulelo Moja, group HR manager at CFR Freight. “The past two years it has been even more difficult due to companies not being granted funding from the Setas (Sector Education and Training Authorities) anymore,” she explains. This has meant companies have to find the resources internally to train and upskill their workforce in what is arguably one of the toughest economic environments, thanks to the ongoing global pandemic.
“At CFR we have remained committed to developing our employees and strive to ensure that the necessary training is provided. We are currently running a project with the South African German Chamber, from which we received funding to train two learners on a three-year qualification.” On completion of the programme, the learners will have the opportunity to work abroad should they choose to gain more experience.
“One of our employees has won the Fiata Young Freight Forwarder of the Year competition for the Africa/Middle East region and will now compete against winners from three other regions – the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.” Moja says it is important for the company to support and encourage employees to participate in such competitions as it speaks directly to an ethos of ongoing learning in the workplace.
With a severe skills shortage in the country, Moja maintains that training and skills development has to be a top priority for any logistics service provider. “There are challenges though, such as finding the accredited providers offering up-to-date training programmes.”
Also, funding remains problematic. Furthermore, the changing workplace environment due to Covid-19 has introduced more virtual learning – a trend that is growing fast.
From a recruitment perspective, Moja said a strict process was followed at CFR Freight to ensure there was transparency and consistency in hiring new people. “It is a fine balance of bringing in new people but also engaging with internal staff to ensure we are sharing opportunities equally. “The challenges in our industry remain matching both salary expectations and skills levels with existing job profiles.”