Question 181 – Eskom Vacancies & Skilled Applicants
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
Mr C M Lowe (DA) to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises:
- Whether any posts within Eskom, which were vacant as at 1 January 2004, remained vacant because of a lack of suitably qualified or skilled applicants; if so, (a) how many posts, (b) what specified qualifications or skills are required to fill the posts and (c) for what period has each post been vacant;
- whether any special steps have been taken to recruit suitably qualified or skilled applicants; if not, why not; if so, (a) what steps and (b) with what results;
- whether the length of time for which each post has been vacant has had any negative effect on service delivery by Eskom; if not, what factors were taken into consideration in reaching this conclusion; if so, what negative effects have been experienced? N192E
- Vacancies are reviewed at each budget cycle and they are either scrapped or re-registered. Most of the vacancies are new although some longer-term vacancies could exist with regard to specialised skills. The challenges facing Eskom in terms of skills shortages are no different to what is being experienced throughout the global energy industry.
Since the middle of 2005, there has been a targeted recruitment exer cise to staff Eskom's Capital Expansion Department to ensure that Eskom is appropriately positioned for the build programme.
From the 472 vacancies that existed during 2005 within the Enterprises Division (the division responsible for the build programme), only 47 positions have not been filled. For the period 2006/7, 200 new positions will need to be filled and these positions have been created and approved during February 2006.
Skills categories/resources requirements are in the following disciplines:
- Procurement/ Commercial
- Contracts management
- Project management
- Engineering (hydro/coal/gas)
- skom's staff resourcing strategies are based on a mix of external hiring of experienced and potential (pipeline) employees as well as internal promotions catalysed by development and training of employees. A special effort is being made to strengthen the internal and external pipeline to ensure a continuous flow of skills.
Eskom's strategy to deal with the increased demand for technical skills has been to utilise a variety of resourcing options, including contracting of specialist skills.
In addition, Eskom allocates bursaries and learnerships aligned with its business requirements, on an annual basis. The number of learners in 2005/6 as per the Workplace Skills Plan was as follows:
Full Time Learners570 University Bursars532 Learnerships795 Learners in skills programmes80 Apprenticeships58 Learners2 035
These initiatives assist in assuring a pipeline of technical skills. Eskom plans to increase the number of learners to 4 000 in 2006/7 of which 822 will be bursars. Eskom's investment in staff development and training increased from approximately R400m (in 2000) to approximately R500m per annum.
- Depending on the nature and level of work required a vacant position affects the organisation differently.
However, a special effort is made to recruit suitable candidates and short-term solutions are also explored to address the need while a suitable permanent candidate is being found. Strategies are therefore in place to mitigate the potential adverse effects. The need to enhance our skill development program is seen as an opportunity and not a constraint.