Chevron South Africa invests in the recruitment and training of people living with disabilities South Africa commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month, November 2015.
Employment figures released by the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) reveal that less than one per cent of the total workforce in South Africa comprise of people living with disabilities.
Additionally, sixty eight per cent of adults living with disabilities have never looked for a job, and many of those who do find work are more likely to be employed under insecure and exploitative conditions. (University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Development in Africa).
To address this low representation and under-utilisation of persons living with disabilities in the work place, Chevron South Africa, which operates in the country under the Caltex brand, has launched a learnership programme with 31 black unemployed learners living with disabilities. Female learners make up close to two thirds of the group which has an average age of 28.
The 12-month programme started in September 2015 and is designed to create a pipeline of candidates who can compete for positions within different business units at Chevron South Africa and across the industry. Of importance is a requirement that the project source and develop candidates to a higher qualification to increase their likelihood of becoming employable. The programme is a first of its kind for Chevron South Africa.
“It is crucial for employers to remove barriers that limit the participation of people living with disabilities in the workplace. This targeted recruitment initiative aligns with our transformation objectives and commitment towards diversity, inclusion and youth development. Through this development programme, we seek to provide people with disabilities valuable skills that will assist in securing future employment and contribute to our economy,” says Shashi Rabbipal, Executive Chairman of Chevron South Africa.
To increase the chances of longterm sustainable employment, the programme candidates were recruited and assessed by an education and training service provider, Primeserv HR Solutions, and selected by Chevron South Africa to undergo training in Business Administration and Marketing at National Qualification Framework (NQF) 3 and NQF 4 levels. “There is currently saturation with NQF Level 1 learners in the market. To address this, we are providing training that increases qualifications and job prospects. It is important to note that learners are also offered workplace experience at Chevron South Africa and other companies,” says Joy Cupido, project coordinator at Primeserv HR Solutions.
Commenting on the experience and benefit of the programme, one of the learners says, “This initiative is certainly going to open doors of opportunities that were previously impossible for us. The programme is in its early stages but it has already made me a different person. I feel confident and excited about the outcome.”
“This programme is a milestone in our transformation journey. We firmly believe that developing people living with disabilities for full-time employment is consistent with our Chevron Way values and aligned with our business objectives and priorities. Our intent is to lead change beyond compliance and support our competitive edge through an inclusive training and employment environment.” concludes Rabbipal.
The company has already embarked on improving the working conditions of its current employees living with disabilities: Chevron’s new R200 million head office in Cape Town, which has received Green Star SA certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa was designed and developed to accommodate people living with disabilities.
Chevron South Africa has sustained Level 2 B-BBEE qualification for two consecutive years across its entire business including the Chevron Cape Town Refinery.
South Africa commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month annually between 3 November and 3 December. 3 December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and is also commemorated as National Disability Rights Awareness Day.