Firm wants local students

2013-08-13 00:00

FROM now on, Hulamin will search exclusively in the Pietermaritzburg area for candidates for its bursary programme. This is what Hector Molale, Hulamin’s corporate affairs executive, told The Witness at the company’s career day at the Golden Horse’s Olwazini Discovery Centre last week.

“We are recruiting exclusively from PMB and surrounds,” Molale said, “There is talent in this area and we are looking to rebuild our recruitment pipeline for the technical resources that sustain the Hulamin business.

“We need those skills to stay at the cutting edge of technology and product development.”

This is the first time that Hulamin, the biggest private sector employer in KZN’s capital, has focused exclusively on the city to recruit its talent and the first time that it has proactively sought bursary candidates.

The company employs 1 836 people in Pietermaritzburg and pays salaries, wages and benefits in the city of around R636 million annually.

“Rather than people knocking on our door, we want to tell them ‘this is what we offer’,” Molale said.

The bursary the company offers is comprehensive. Pinky Hillman, the company’s learning and development officer, said that it covers registration, tuition fees and accommodation for students, and includes a personal allowance and book allowance. Students in their second year of study receive a laptop too.

In addition, bursary winners are able to work at Hulamin during vacation times, where they have the opportunity to gain practical experience while earning a stipend.

Over 160 Grade 10 pupils from local schools attended Hulamin’s two-day careers day at the Olwazini Discovery Centre, with which the company has partnered. The Olwazini Discovery Centre is the Golden Horse’s CSI initiative to promote science and technology in KZN, and Hulamin said they intend to continue this partnership.

Molale admitted that the timing for the company’s first career day may have been a little late this year and said that they are still refining the details. He said they may even focus on Grade 9s next year and may bring the career day forward in the calendar to give pupils a chance to consider the company’s offering before committing to other programmes.

He said that historically, Hulamin’s staff turnover was low and that proof of the career opportunity the company offered was evident in the fact that people can rise from engineers to executive level. He cited the company’s CEO, who is an industrial engineer by training, and its marketing director, who is a civil engineer by training, as examples.

“I myself have been with the company for 20 years,” he said.

Next year, the company will also be recruiting chartered accountants looking to do their articles, Molale said, and will be looking to UKZN’s fourth-year students in this field to join their graduate programme.

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