CTP GRADUATE PROGRAMME ADDRESSES YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

TAKING THE NECESSARY STEPS TO EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION OF PROFESSIONALS

With an unemployment rate of 27.2% in the 2nd quarter of 2018, now more than ever the challenges of youth unemployment need to be addressed in a way that will efficiently and effectively promote socio-economic development. It is for this reason that CTP Printers continues to invest in young aspiring talent across all its departments.
The CTP Graduate Programme has been successful in bridging the skills gap between tertiary education and permanent employment. The programme offers graduates the opportunity to learn valuable skills that will equip them to successfully navigate the demands of sustainable employment. With a decline in manufacturing-related jobs, the programme supports sustainable employment within the industry.

The CTP Graduate programme is a group-wide initiative that was started in July 2011. The year-long programme provides valuable work experience for recent graduates. Each graduate is allocated an experienced employee as a mentor for the duration of the programme and they are placed at the different departments for the first few months before getting work experience that focuses on their area of academic qualification.

A total of 73 graduates have been part of the CTP Graduate Programme since July 2011. The disciplines from which recruitment is made include marketing, accounting, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, journalism and logistics. A majority of the graduates are offered permanent positions within the Group after completing their graduate year.

“All our graduates get real-world on the job training, especially in this current climate of high unemployment”, CTP Printers HR Manager Candice Rowe says. The graduate programme identifies individuals with the potential to succeed in a fast-paced environment. 2018 saw the induction of two graduates into the program at CTP Printers. Throughout the year, they will be mentored and supervised by high-level directors. Procurement Director Wayne Jullies (UCT GSB MBA) and Operations Director Gawie Le Roux (Stellenbosch University MBA) have been guiding the graduates throughout their departmental rotations. Along with other senior managers, the graduates are taught how each department effectively works to positively contribute to client needs. “Our management team predominantly consists of alumni of the graduate programme. Gawie, for instance, is also a product of the programme” Rowe says.

“THE GRADUATE PROGRAMME IDENTIFIES INDIVIDUALS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO SUCCEED IN A FAST PACED ENVIRONMENT.” CANDICE ROWE, HR MANAGER

Athenkosi Ngqola (24) applied for the program in late 2017 as she was about to graduate with a National Diploma from The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Having successfully graduated, she is now enrolled for a BTech majoring in Business Administration. Having to juggle the demands of working and studying simultaneously, she has perfected the art of pulling off this juggling act because of the structure of the graduate programme. “We are exposed to a lot of internal departments as part of the rotation policy, this helps me become a well-rounded individual with tangible experience I can apply to my life”, Ngqola says.

For a lot of young graduates entering the job market, manufacturing as a career path is often overlooked. “I Never thought I would be in the manufacturing industry”, Ngqola says. Although the Manufacturing industry is one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP, it is only after she started working at CTP Printers that she appreciated the role the manufacturing industry plays in driving other sectors of the economy.

As the preferred printing company for most of the country’s biggest publications, CTP Printers plays an important role in helping its clients achieve the best possible version of their product. With a belief that clients require more than just a service provider, CTP Printers helps its staff to actively relate to challenges the sector faces and contribute ideas that positively influence the industry as a whole.

“Before, magazines did not have any real value for me. Now I value them because I know the processes involved in producing them from the editorial stage all the way to Manufacturing.” Ngqola says.

“The company culture is what I like the most, you interact with different people every day.”, Sinethemba Mthiyane (25) says. Having recently graduated with a National Diploma in Operations Management, Mthiyane is also registered for a BTech majoring in Quality from CPUT. Together, the two graduates are embarking on this journey with shared experiences. Sitting in close proximity of each other, they have embraced working as team to produce work that is exceptional. “I like working with Athenkosi because we share the workload and work as a team, if ever I am not at work I know she is more than capable to handle what needs to be finished”, Mthiyane says.

Realising the potential positive benefits young talent has on a company’s culture and future, CTP Printers has embraced the opportunity to teach as well as learn from its graduates. A lot of the company’s employees started their careers in a junior role within various internal departments across the company. Most have progressed to senior roles that influence how the company positions itself in the manufacturing industry. As a leader in printing, CTP Printers offers the best of both worlds: dynamic and youthful ideas from its young staff, as well as tried and tested experience and expertise from the more seasoned staff members.

Now in his third year with CTP Printers, Zimasa Malunga completed the graduate programme in 2016. Following his successful completion, he was offered a role in the sales department as a Sales Representative. “My experience was awesome, I was challenged a lot and got to interact with a lot of different people”, Malunga says. Because the programme is structured on departmental rotation, it helps the graduates build valuable people skills to interact successfully within a company. “I liked the rotation between the different departments, everyone was helpful and open”, he says. Not only does the programme help graduates communicate better within the company, it helps them polish their client facing skills as well.

CTP Printers is committed to continuing training new graduates for years to come.

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