Beefmaster Group, one of the leading specialist suppliers of beef products to local and international markets, has invested more than R4m in training and people development initiatives in 2023 directly benefitting 233 individuals across Christiana and Kimberley’s agricultural and industrial areas. This represents a 230% surge in training expenditure compared to the previous year.

The company is the largest private employer in Kimberley, where its beef processing facility is based.

Cindy Nkgoeng, HR manager at Beefmaster Group, says that the investment into skills and education reinforces the business’s dedication to employee growth and community development.

“Investing in our employees is at the core of our business philosophy, as we believe that the growth and development of our team members are pivotal to our success,” says Nkgoeng, expressing the company’s enthusiasm for the strides made in 2023. “Initiatives undertaken last year included nationally recognised learnerships, artisan training, adult education and training, and bursaries for both internal staff and external students.” 672

More than 150 individuals completed learnerships, obtaining a National Certificate in Fresh Meat Processing, while 40 unemployed individuals completed learnerships, receiving a National Certificate in Food and Beverage Handling.

Training initiative achievements

“We are proud to announce that we’ve contributed to youth employment by hiring 20 individuals who completed the Food and Beverage handling learnership, while one of our bursary holders who is employed by the company completed their degree.”

In total, seven staff members were awarded bursaries to continue their professional development. In addition, 17 individuals completed their learnerships in General Management NQF 4 and NQF 5, while three artisans were trained, with two qualifying as electricians and one qualifying as a mechanical fitter.

Thirteen individuals received training in communication and numeracy under Adult Education and Training.

Strides made in terms of reskilling, upskilling or skills development in these areas are even more noteworthy, particularly in light of unemployment figures.

The latest statistics from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) from Quarter 3, 2023, released in November 2023, highlight the persistent challenges faced by regions such as the Northern Cape and the North West in terms of unemployment. Despite both provinces showing a year-on-year decrease in the unemployment rate, they continue to be consistent underperformers in the broader context.

Nkgoeng says that looking ahead to 2024, the company will continue to build on the good work achieved in 2023 to foster a dynamic and empowered workforce.

“We remain committed to providing our employees with opportunities to grow and learn. This year we will continue offering bursaries to support employees in completing formal qualifications, learnerships, and courses aimed at acquiring diverse skill sets. We believe that by investing in the continuous development of our workforce, we not only empower our employees but also contribute to the overall growth of our community,” concludes Nkgoeng.

source: Beefmaster invests R4m in employee development, benefiting 233 individuals (bizcommunity.com)

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