3 December, 2012
Report on the 3rd Annual
Training Indaba held in Nelspruit on Tuesday 06 November, 2012.
| Delegates at the training Indaba co-hosted by the South African Forestry
Contractor's Association (SAFCA)
and the Forest Industries Training Providers'
third annual "Training Indaba", co-hosted by the South African Forestry
Contractor's Association (SAFCA) and the Forest Industries Training Providers'
Association (FITPA), was attended by approximately 60 delegates on 06 November,
2012, held in the auditorium of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, on the
outskirts of Nelspruit.
were warmly welcomed by the Programme Director for the day, Mr. Linda Vilakazi,
from Siyaqubeka Forests, who made reference to the theme for this years'
Indaba: "Forward Together". Linda wasted no time in introducing the first
speaker, Doctor Jaap Steenkamp of the NMMU and SAFCA, who alluded to the
appropriateness of the theme, given the huge amount of change that had occurred
in the recent past. Dr Steenkamp highlighted the need to "adapt or die", and
stressed the importance of anticipating what is going on around us, and in the
economy, if one is to survive. With regard to the provision of training, he
emphasised the need for training providers - as well as employers - to attend
more specifically to the existing training matrixes, and to ensure the
appropriateness of any interventions embarked upon.
the absence of his Chief Executive, who was unfortunately unable to attend, Mr
Lenny Paltu from the FP&M SETA spoke on the Forestry Sector's skills needs,
and on the OFO codes (Organisational Framework of Occupations) which have
recently been reviewed, and which will be linked to specific qualifications in
the industry. Mr Paltu's presentation underlined the need for greater
consultation between stakeholders, with regard to the actual occupational numbers and needs in the sector, conceding that
the current draft for occupational pathing in the sector was (to say the least)
on from the above, Mr Paltu then presented an outline of the SETA's policy with
regard to the accreditation of training providers, outlining the requirements
for both provisional and full
accreditation, as well as the role and functions of the Quality Assurance
Committee. Needless to say, both presentations led to some lively debate
amongst delegates and to a plea to the FP&M SETA for (inter alia) greater
attention to the matter of discretionary grant funding, and for greater
involvement and respect on the part of the SETA for FITPA and other
presentations by the SETA were followed by a passionate and most enlightening
talk by Mr Philemon Mathebula on the Human Capital Development Programmes
currently on offer from the Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
approximately 250 internship opportunities, as well as various bursary and
development programmes on offer, the Department is heavily committed to
changing the perception of Forestry-related employment being "the work of the
poor", and is currently in the process of developing a national
career-awareness strategy. While this augers well for the future, Mr Mathebula
stressed that progress was not without its challenges, and invited training
providers and other stakeholders to support and participate in the various
initiatives being undertaken.
training and development featured high on the agenda of this year's Indaba,
with presentations by Kerry Davies (Mondi Forest's Training and Development
Manager), Pam Naidoo (SAFCA Capacity Development Manager and current FITPA
chairperson), as well as Prof Michal Brink (Director of College of Machine
Operations) all speaking on initiatives currently underway in their
organisations. In her interesting presentation, Kerry outlined Mondi's
commitment to Best Operating Practise, and to improving productivity (whilst at
the same time reducing risk) through the targeting of "critical development initiatives".
This approach had recently led to a focus on Chainsaw Operator training and
assessment, as well as an investigation into the use of sharp tools in the
company's operations, as well as increased awareness of Health and Safety
issues - for example, more effective training of H & S
representatives. The training of
Supervisors has received huge emphasis, including involvement by Mondi in the
development and implementation of the level 4 Supervisor Development Programme
(SDP), and commitment to a similar programme at NQF level 3, the development of
which is currently being investigated.
on from Kerry's presentation, Pam Naidoo gave feedback on the implementation
and initial assessment results of the Supervisor Development Programme that is
currently being rolled out at various sites in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga.
With the aid of videoed interviews of a supervisor and his superior, the
benefits of the programme to both the supervisors and their employers was
clearly evident from Pam's talk - not to mention the immense payback it is
likely to have for the industry as a whole. Delegates were unanimous in
applauding SAFCA - and Pam Naidoo in particular - for the sterling work she has
done (and continues to do) in "championing" the development of this
on the topic of Supervisor training, the presentation that followed was an
insightful outline by Prof Michal Brink on the implementation of a supervisor
course by the College for Machine Operators (CMO) for harvesting operator
supervisors. This course was implemented through a discretionary grant obtained
from the FP&M SETA that was applied for by SAFCA in partnership with
CMO. The course, based on the Deming
cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) was conducted recently for three groups totalling
28 supervisors - the employers of whom will no doubt harvest rich rewards from
the training. A sample of 6 supervisors
assessed provided the following results: (a) average score before training was
47% (b) average score after training was 89%.
The final result was an 89% improvement in performance.
a sumptuous lunch, and a viewing of exhibitions put on by various providers,
the "graveyard shift" was led by Mr John Chandler (Masakhane Forestry
Contractors), who gave an interesting presentation titled "A Tool to Change
Attitude and Behaviour". In emphasising
the need for a "bottom upwards" approach to training and education, as opposed
to the "top downwards" approach more commonly used, John described the aim and
process of the programme which has been implemented by his company, in an
effort to reinforce common values such as respect and honesty - both at the
workplace as well as in broader society. The results of the three-day programme
(offered by the Ethics and Leadership Institute) have been a marked reduction
in the incidence of absenteeism, theft, vandalism, and substance abuse in this
organisation - and are clearly something to be considered by other employers.
benefits of FITPA membership to training providers in the industry were
highlighted in the following presentation by Mr Lukas Hogewind (owner of Aquila
Training, and current Mpumalanga/Limpopo representative for FITPA), who
introduced a Manual for Training Providers which he is in the process of developing
for FITPA. This comprehensive manual will be of great benefit both to
established as well as "emerging" providers, covering critical aspects such as
(inter alia) the recommended qualifications, and the procedure for the
accreditation of training facilitators. This was followed by a short
presentation by Mr James Ballantyne (JaBe Consulting and current Kwa-Zulu Natal
representative for FITPA) on a needs analysis exercise that has been undertaken
by FITPA, in an attempt to identify meaningful goals and objectives for the
Association, whilst at the same time improving service delivery to its members.
final presentation took the form of an eloquent response to the day's
proceedings by Mr Jerry Makhanya from FAWU, on behalf of Organised Labour in the
industry. Mr Makhanya expressed appreciation for the various efforts being made
to uplift and improve the skills of forestry workers, and reiterated the need
that was expressed by various speakers, ie.for all stakeholders to work
together for mutual reward.
summing up the day's proceedings and thanking the various presenters and
sponsors, the theme of "Forward Together" was aptly expressed by Mr Michael
Hlengwa of SAFCA, who noted the presence of important role players at the
Indaba, and their combined ability to "make a difference".
Footnote: Further details on the Indaba presentations, in the
form of a CD, may be obtained by contacting Nicky Naidoo at the SAFCA offices
in Pietermaritzburg, Tel: (033) 3947207.
Download the original Word document: Training Indaba Report 2012