ArcelorMittal South Africa remains committed to its skills development and training programmes. These programmes are strictly aligned with our transformational goals with a specific emphasis on making significant progress with respect to gender diversity, a particular challenge for companies in the manufacturing and heavy industrial sectors.
In 2021, the company saw an increase of 100% in the primary skills pipeline from a budget of 200 apprentices and production learners to an achieved actual of 450 participants. Candidate engineer and technician pipelines almost doubled from 34 to 60 participants.
The graduate pipeline which had been initially wholly suspended was reintroduced in 2021 to include six participants.
In 2021 the company supported a programme that provided 80 learning opportunities for people with disabilities and will continue to support the programme in 2022.
The bursary programme that was suspended in 2020 and 2021 was reactivated to provide for 40 bursaries for youth at tertiary institutions as well as 30 bursaries for employees aligned with our internal succession plan.
Interest-free study loans were reinstated in 2021 for the purposes of supporting the development of employees and their dependants in accessing opportunities for tertiary study programmes.
The internal mentorship programme was increased to 150 participants in 2021.
Our training spend will increase from R87 million in 2021 to a planned R106 million in 2022.
The company is recognised by the Manufacturing, Engineering, Related Industries Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) as a platinum-ranked skills development company - the top ranking in the industry. It is also member of the Accelerated Artisan Training Programme, a group of six leading South African companies which have committed to the South African government to training more skills than is needed for their own requirements.
The company is committed to harnessing the full spectrum of skills within the South African population by providing equal employment opportunities. Employment equity and a commitment to cultural diversity are cornerstones of its employment policy. This is particular evident in its skills development programme, focused on ensuring a training pipeline with priority towards Historically Disadvantaged South Africans (HDSA), especially females, for skilled and professional roles.