2017 ended on a positive note for six disabled learners who graduated with an NQF Level 4 certificate in Business Management – sponsored by Otis South Africa. Otis also inducted six interns who were working across a number of disciplines ranging from Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and Engineering, as well as Learner Lift Mechanics who were part of the 2017/2018 intake, on the same day of the graduation.. The Learner Lift Mechanic Programme, supported by MERSeta, commences with induction and runs for a period of three years. At the end of the programme the learner is certified as a qualified Lift Mechanic (NQF 4). The year 2017 saw Otis increasing the annual number of Learner Lift Mechanics (L2) from 15 to 41, which brings the total number of Learner Lift Mechanics employed by Otis to 87.
”The company sees training and developing unemployed youth as a key metric of its business strategy and building the Otis talent pool,” says Loueen Jones, HR Director of Otis. Building skills and expertise across the business, and specifically through the Otis Training Academy, is a key element in positioning South Africa as a hub for Otis products and services on the African continent. “Our training programme is designed to create technical and functional expertise in the lift and escalator industry, and encourage operational and service excellence” adds Jones.
The skills shortage in the technical field has left the company struggling to find qualified mechanics which can service and maintain Otis equipment, while meeting its stringent safety standards. The Intern and Learner Lift Mechanic Programmes are designed to address the skills shortage challenge in the industry.
According to Trading Economics, youth unemployment reached an all-time high of 55.90% in the second quarter of 2017. “It is imperative that corporate South Africa increases the number of intern and learner programmes across industries, which will go a long way to reducing the youth unemployment rate. Currently, interns and learners make up 21% of Otis South Africa’s workforce. “We are excited about our programmes and proud to be making a contribution to reducing youth unemployment in South Africa,” Jones concluded.