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BP in South Africa today announced a R105-million investment over the next six years in a unique youth development programme in support of government’s socio-economic empowerment aspirations.


The investment will see more than 900 gifted grade 10, 11 and 12 learners from rural schools in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga participate in a specially designed programme to bridge the gap between high school and university, and to create a pipeline of exceptionally talented professionals to take the country forward.


The Targeting Talent Programme provides holistic talent development and aims to counter possible negative influences such as a lack of rigorous curriculum, poorly trained teachers and the absence of successful role models in rural communities. It provides the missing elements that assist learners to aspire to, prepare for, and obtain university enrollment.


The programme has achieved an incredible success rate to date. Past learners who participated during 2010 and 2011 include Ngoanapedi Mmadikgetho Komane who was named last year’s top national matriculant. Of the 199 learners who participated along with her, 192 successfully matriculated, almost all of them are currently studying at tertiary institutions.


Thandi Orleyn, BP Chairperson says BP is delighted to be part of this programme which has proved to be exceptional in every way.


“Having been a sponsor of the project since its inception in 2010, we have been consistently impressed by its results, which is why we have undertaken to make the initiative BP South Africa’s flagship corporate social responsibility venture for the next decade.  The programme is a clear demonstration on BP’s part to actively contribute to the country’s national growth and economic development,” says Orleyn.


During a special ceremony to announce BP’s ongoing support of the programme attended by the Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters and top academics at Wits University, a number of the students were singled out for honour as top performers.


Dr Loyiso Nongxa, former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University and custodian of the Targeting Talent programme, described the students as tenacious in their education pursuits and applauded them for their commitment to succeed against all odds.


“These students are among the first in their families to attend university and obtain a degree – something which will change their lives forever. Through BP’s continuous support these learners are much more ready emotionally and academically for what lies ahead at university and have been given all the tools they need in order to reach their full potential,” said Dr Nongxa.


Of the learners from the pilot Wits TTP Programme who matriculated last year, 127 are currently enrolled at various tertiary institutions pursuing their first year of studies – 29% in Science, 27% in Commerce, Law and Management and 24% in Engineering and Built Environment qualifications, 16% in the Health Sciences and 4% in Humanities.


The Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters applauded BP’s commitment to the project and said it was a step in the right direction to bring about sustainable and meaningful transformation in the liquid fuels industry.


“We expect that corporate South Africa plays a major role in the transformation agenda, and this initiative is an instructive example of how businesses can drive a concerted effort to develop, nurture and sustain black executive talent, targeting especially the youth,” says Peters.

In the fiercely competitive business arena, the acquisition and retention of skilled workers is paramount. The demand for skills, especially technical skills, and the need for job seekers to acquire practical experience, means that business relationships forged have to be effectively managed.


Experts in Human Resource development and management technology believe that building long term relationships with each employer and employee is becoming ever more critical.

This is because technology has advanced and created platforms for instant and cost-effective communication.


Teryl pic“The emphasis today is on maintaining steady relationships, nurturing networks and value-add to relationships in both the public and private sector,” says Teryl Schroenn, CEO of Accsys. “At the heart of this is work/life balance, a desired objective that technology could help us to achieve. One only has to consider the advent of mobile technology and mobile applications that make mobile work a reality today.”


Accsys is a member of the Business Connexion Group (BCX) and national supplier of people management software and hardware solutions within the HR, payroll and time & attendance space.


Africa is widely acknowledged to have the second fastest growing mobile market globally and is home to seven of the ten fastest growing markets worldwide.


Schroenn says the advent of mobile technology and the influence of social media have significantly changed the workplace environment – as well as processes and procedures that govern professional relations.


Schroenn adds that it is important for managers to recognise these changes and adapt their approach accordingly. This means that, for example, should an employee decide to leave to pursue other interests, in the event this does not prove successful, there would be the opportunity for that person to return and rejoin their former workplace.


“Alliances and professional relationships forged in the workplace are usually strong and there is now more effort being made to ensure that bonds are not broken if there is a parting of ways. It often happens that former work colleagues network and actually end up reuniting in a sustainable working relationship,” adds Schroenn.


  • The acquisition and retention of skilled workers is paramount in today’s society
  • Corporations demand talent, job seekers urgently require experience and the market insists on talented personnel
  • Africa is widely acknowledged to have the second fastest growing mobile market globally and is home to seven of the ten fastest growing markets worldwide.
  • Mobile technology and social media has challenged traditional workplace policy and regulation
  • The emphasis today is on maintaining steady relationships, nurturing networks and value-add to relationships in both the public and private sector
  • social networks are used to establish online reputations that will stay with people
  • The current mindset is one of flexibility and of a willingness to use technology and other resources to build relationships

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