Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) investor First Automotive Works (FAW) South Africa is poised to create much needed job opportunities for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro residents at its newly finished plant in Zone 2 of the IDZ in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has been intimately involved in the recruitment and selection process of employees at the FAW South Africa assembly plant through its specialised unit for recruitment and placements, Coega Human Capital Solutions (HCS).
Head of the HCS recruitment unit, Duncan Grenfell, says there are a number of interventions underway for enlisting new FAW personnel and HCS is assisting FAW to “mobilise their local workforce”.
A total of 619 people were employed during the construction phase and FAW expects to employ mostly local people in the first operational phase. A total of eight SMME’s were involved in the construction of the assembly plant.
“HCS has already recruited people, mainly locals, to work on the FAW South Africa’s production line.
Coega and FAW have also been engaging the surrounding communities in the Motherwell area and those around the city since last year to discuss opportunities on the FAW project.
“The communities have been advised that the investor will be employing based on their needs and that no particular community will be given preference for employment,” Grenfell said.
“The emphasis is on the fact that the Coega IDZ and its investments are for the people of the city and province. At all levels, we are making every attempt to ensure that local people get employed, which is the purpose of an IDZ.”
Coega boasts an average of 85% local employment rate on IDZ projects, a figure which has been consistent for a number of years now, says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communication.
HCS also runs several programmes to mitigate the gap between the skills demanded by investors and the skills supply in the region. FAW will also benefit from some of these technical skills development programmes.
“Investors want to employ skilled workers – and HCS has taken on the role of not only recruiting these potential employees, but ensuring they have the requisite skills for the job at hand. This is achieved through various skills development initiatives, including artisan training in trades such as welding, assembly, and fitting and turning in the automotive industry. We are basically offering total solutions to investors so that jobs are matched with skills,” Grenfell said.
“The training programme is one of Coega’s attempts to ensure that local skills development takes place, but there is a dual responsibility. Job seekers also need to ensure they meet the basic requirements for entering the training interventions, namely having school leaving qualifications with the right subject choices and coming with the right work ethic,” added Grenfell.
Official adverts for FAW job vacancies were posted on the Coega G2O recruitment system accessible at www.g2o.co.za, various print media and on social media since January 2014. The vacancy advert was also placed in various public places such as community halls and libraries. However, we strongly recommend everybody to follow Coega on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and the CDC website.
The pool of candidates who responded to the initial adverts were shortlisted and called to attend briefing sessions and taken through a work readiness training programme to enhance their chances of employment Grenfell said. “At this point we are planning to take the applicants through a series of assessments after which the final shortlist of candidates will be forwarded for final interview with the client.”
Coega’s HCS will continue recruiting applicants. Several community roadshows are planned throughout the city to ensure that local people are made aware of opportunities in the Coega IDZ.
Meanwhile, some key job positions have already been filled by locals through the Coega’s HCS unit including that of personal assistant, receptionist, quality managers, inspectors and assurers, a warehouse manager, stock controller, and a production supervisor, among others.
Other potential positions to be filled imminently range from vehicle assemblers, vehicle adjustment technicians, truck cleaners, vehicle assembly fitters, welders, sand blasters, stock controllers, handling workers, equipment maintenance assistants, commercial vehicle stock controllers, technical mechanical engineers, final product vehicle inspectors, maintenance technicians and drivers.
Overall FAW South Africa has invested R600-million in the Coega IDZ, through joint funding provided by FAW and China-Africa Fund. The truck plant, the first phase of FAW South Africa’s development in the Coega IDZ, is expected to produce 5 000 trucks annually. The second phase will likely see 30 000 passenger cars assembled on site with operational jobs expected to exceed 800 over several phases to be commissioned during the next 10 years.
“For now FAW has approximately 100 jobs opportunities available,” FAW South Africa Human Resources Generalist Kobie Jacobs said.
The China FAW Group is the third largest vehicle manufacturer in the world.
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