On 24 August 2017, 120 graduates from the Group’s various development programmes came to Johannesburg to attend the Petra Diamonds Graduation Ceremony, a day of celebration and recognition for the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated by furthering their skills and personal development within the Company.
Graduates attended from our learnership programmes such as the Rock Breaking Learnership, various engineering disciplines and the National Certificate Level 2 Mineral Processing. These qualifications enable employees to progress into more skilled positions such as artisans and miners, with more than 30% of the graduates being female and 80% historically disadvantaged South Africans (“HDSAs”).
All our developmental programmes were represented, being the Supervisory Learnership programme, the Management Development Programme, the Senior Management Development Programme and our flagship Leadership Development Programme. Each of these programmes results in an accredited qualification and each candidate also receives mentoring and coaching to supplement and augment the new knowledge they acquired through their training.
Special recognition was also given to various achievements in the Leadership Development Programme. The overall achiever for 2017 on the programme was Beertjie Boonzaier from Finsch, while the coveted Group of the Year award went to Cullinan course year one. Richard Popham from Group Training received the Mentor of the Year award. Interns who graduated from their internship programme in areas such as electrical, mechanical and metallurgical engineering, environment and safety were also celebrated.
The day was made even more special by various guest speakers, including our former Chief Executive, Johan Dippenaar, who spoke about the importance of learning through doing and how each person’s development is a continuous journey, and Microsoft South Africa MD Zoaib Hoosen, who is also the chairperson of Maths Centre, an NGO which collaborates with Petra to improve maths and science education in local schools. Zoaib was able to give attendees a glimpse into the impact of new technologies on our world and the importance of always learning and developing one’s skills in order to keep up with the changes associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The closing remarks were made by Egbert Klapwijk, our Group Support Manager, who spoke about the high poverty levels in South Africa, but also highlighted that continuous education and development offers the opportunity for everyone to pull themselves out of poverty.
After the event, graduates and management had time to socialise and network. During discussions with our graduates, it would seem that many of them are heeding the advice of all our guest speakers and are carrying on with their own development – not stopping with what they have achieved on the day but aiming higher.