Managing Director of DACHSER South Africa says, “We’re very proud of our learners and to be recognised for our proactive response to the severe skills shortage within the local logistics sector. Our main objective is to close the skills gap in the logistics industry in South Africa and to create excellent, work-ready candidates with specialist skills. This is of great benefit to our own business, but also to the industry as a whole.”
Duve says the lack of specific learning programmes and subsequent qualifications in the local logistics market triggered DACHSER South Africa to develop the DACHSER Learnership Programme, a comprehensive 12-month skills development programme providing specialist training in the freight and transport industry as well as important basic skills such as computer literacy, and telephone and business etiquette skills. The skills programme specific to logistics includes information on road, sea and air transport as well as material on the processes of the customs department – a crucial aspect of any logistics offering.
Candidates for the skills programme are sourced through a TETA registered facilitator and from DACHSER workforce. “Four of the thirteen learners trained in 2016 were already DACHSER employees who demonstrated the dedication and interest to study further. The others were employed for duration of the year-long apprenticeship. The reality is that if the learners do well in the programme, it can lead to a successful placement within DACHSER South Africa – a valuable opportunity in a scarce job market,” says Duve.
All learners are placed in departments where they gain real industry knowledge and skills. DACHSER further offers post-programme mentorship should the candidates require it, as well as detailed references for all candidates if they proceed with careers in other companies.
The continuous training and education philosophy extends throughout the organization and DACHSER has a training committee that identifies development needs. “In each department we find that there are evolving market challenges, changes in the environment and in regulations that affect our work. Our training committee ensures that our teams get the training they need to keep ahead of these changes and offer the best service to our clients,” says Duve.
In addition to the local training initiative, the DACHSER Academy was established by the company’s head office in Germany. This academy is available to all DACHSER staff members and enables worldwide knowledge management that uses and develops employees’ strengths, creativity, and capability for innovation. More than 100 lecturers from all parts of the DACHSER organization provide instruction on all logistics processes and products—comprehensibly and in line with actual practice. The training programme is complemented by e-learning tools that enable employees to pass on their knowledge and experience to their colleagues worldwide, no matter where in the world they work.
Duve explains that skills within the logistics sector are rapidly diversifying and all employees need to pursue broader areas of learning to remain competitive. “Companies need to train their employees consistently. A solid base of logistics management skills, including the tactical and strategic aspects, is critical for a company to exist within the competitive logistics environment.”