HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT RELATING TO NECSA
The development of human resources is an imperative thrust which is firmly embedded in NECSA’s vision to become a leading organisation which adds value, on a sustainable basis, to the economic and social well being of citizens of this country.
NECSA views the importance of HR development in a holistic framework. We see the development of human resources intrinsically linked to the following:
NECSA follows a twofold approach with regards to its human resource development strategy. On the one hand its HR strategy is internally focused: that is, training and equipping of employees to add value to the organisation and to enhance the self worth and intrinsic motivation of individuals. On the other hand, the human resource development focus of NECSA is directed at the broader community. Training and education of neighbouring communities through various initiatives have been firmly entrenched in NECSA’s social development programme.
Firstly, with regards to its internal human resource development endeavours, NECSA has over the last few years been focusing on a diverse range of skills and competencies which include:
The majority of these development and training programmes have been outsourced, and approximately R2,8 million has been invested over the last financial year in specific HR activities within NECSA, involving about 700 trainees at various levels in the organisation.
Other internal human resource development activities within NECSA include the following:
NECSA has launched a training programme in collaboration with local universities which aims to develop young NECSA staff, primarily from the designated group (70%), in the management, business and technology fields. A total of 51 staff members have already participated over the last two years.
NECSA has deployed a voluntary mentorship programme involving senior management on site. A total of 80 protégées (mostly from the designated group) have already been successfully introduced to this programme over the last two years.
NECSA manages a bursary scheme at a cost of about R2,1 million p.a. which currently entails the education of 65 university and technikon students in the fields of engineering, science and business management. More than 70% of these students are from the race designated group.
PSIT is a 6700m2 training centre on the Pelindaba site, managed at a cost of R3,2m p.a. which provides tertiary technical and life skills training programmes for learner technicians and artisans, aimed primarily at previously disadvantaged youth from rural and urban communities. Students reside in hostels on site.
More than 600 technicians and 400 artisans have successfully completed their training courses since 1994/95. On average, the annual pass rate since 1986 has always exceeded 80% with 100% in both 1995 and 1996. The 2000 intake consists of 118 learner artisans (100% from the race designated group) and 50 learner technicians (92% from designated group) with about 27% from the gender designated group. Successful trainees are deployed within local industry with an average placement rate of more than 70% since 1994/95.
Externally focused training and development of human resources activities at NECSA aim to promote sustainable development and improve the quality of life of previously marginalized groups and communities. NECSA has launched and supported several technical projects in education, training and skills development (amongst community members from the designated groups) which form the critical base of economic development, job creation and growth of South Africa. This programme is primarily directed at neighbouring communities of NECSA and disadvantaged pupils and teachers from schools in the North West and Gauteng Provinces.
The following HR developmental initiatives have been implemented:
NECSA offers free tutorial assistance in science and mathematics to secondary school students from around Pretoria, especially from the Atteridgeville community. More than 300 students have benefited from these training efforts over the last three years with a matric exemption rate generally exceeding 72% every year.
NECSA has engaged in a formal alliance with the University of North West in terms of which MSc students receive lectures on site by NECSA staff as part of their studies and gain practical experience in the field of applied radiation technology. A total of 25 students have already embarked on this MSc degree.
A specific one year project was launched in 1998, in collaboration with the premiers of North West Province and the Eastern Cape, to train 150 former Marshals at the Pelindaba Skills Institute. The project was successfully executed with learners obtaining new skills in mechanical, motor, electrical, welding, plate work, computer, food technology and security areas.
NECSA has been involved in the management of a project in the Brits area which caters for jobless people from the designated community. The aim is to empower these jobless people with skills and to promote literacy and entrepreneurship. More than 900 jobless people from the designated community have already been successfully trained in the areas of catering, electrical wiring, bricklaying, gardening, sewing, carpentry and other basic skills.
NECSA is one of the supporters of this school which caters for children of farm workers around Broederstroom. With assistance from NECSA, the school has recently purchased a vehicle to provide transportation for children between their homes and the school.
NECSA has been a key partner in this ongoing project. The project consists of a series of workshops which are conducted throughout the nine provinces, focusing on primary school teachers and teacher trainees in empowering them to dispel the mystery that surrounds Maths and Science to young pupils from the disadvantaged communities. Most of the workshops are currently focusing on schools in the North West Province. Since 1996 about 16 workshops were held with an attendance of more than 800 teachers.
One of NECSA’s key human resource development initiatives which extend beyond South Africa’s borders is the IAEA/AFRA training scheme indicated below.
South Africa occupies the designated seat on the Board of Governors for the whole of Africa. South Africa is also a member of AFRA (African Co-operative Agreement on Nuclear Science and Technology), an initiative of the IAEA, with 24 other member states of the continent. NECSA acts as national co-ordinator for this project, involving many other S and T institutions within South Africa. The aim of this project (AFRA) is to provide ongoing support, training and development of human resources to African state countries in the field of nuclear science and technology. The majority of these communities lack the resources, skills and expertise in the nuclear and related technology fields and training and support in these areas are regarded as a vehicle for socio-economic upliftment and development of the economy.
In terms of this training scheme, NECSA supplies ongoing training and development via workshops and lectures to many members of 25 African countries in the fields of nuclear science, radiation and technology aimed at socio-economic development. A total of 67 fellows from Africa are presently in various stages of their training and a further 34 are being processed for placement through the IAEA Fellowship Scheme. Furthermore, NECSA has been involved with 13 AFRA projects since 1999 which, inter alia, involved distance training for nuclear medicine technologists, training for improved crop mutation, training in the use of radioimmunoassay techniques to increase the success rate of artificial cattle insemination, providing dam leak detection services, training in the storage of spent radium sources, auditing of nuclear medicine facilities and many others.