Developing an integrated career path with sustainable skills development for engineers : an Eskom Western Cape Operating Unit case study
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
Eskom as a recognised engineering company attracts a number of engineers yearly. Despite the success in attracting engineers, the state-owned utility has been raising concerns about a shortage of engineering skill. The case study sought to explore different programmes and processes Eskom has in place that will contribute in building and retaining the successfully attracted engineers. The aim of the study was to gain appreciation of current methods used for engineer career management. Furthermore, the intention was to make recommendations on the best way to ensure that an integrated career path for engineers in training for sustainable skills development is realised in all business units in the Western Cape Operating Unit (WCOU). The main question the research sought to answer is: What programmes and processes does Eskom have in place that will contribute to building an integrated Engineer in Training (EIT) career path for sustainable skills development? Secondary questions The investigative questions for the proposed research in support of the research question are as follows: - How do the current human resource management strategies and practices contribute to building an integrated career path for EITs in Eskom WCOU? - How do the Eskom WCOU business processes and organisational culture support the career developmental initiatives for EITs? - What career life cycle management approach is used by Eskom WCOU? Primary data for the research was gathered using two research instruments. These were a survey and semi-structured interviews. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from engineers that have been part of the EIT programme and that have been employed in the Eskom WCOU unit from 2005 to date. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from senior managers and the general manager in WCOU. Non-probability purposive sampling was used, as the intention of the research was specifically to gain knowledge about those involved in engineering careers in this province. The research revealed nine critical variables that influence sustainable engineer skills development in the province. These are: - Leadership - Employee approach to learning - Organisation structure - Mentorship and coaching - Peer reviews - Development programme - Cross divisional exposure - Sustainable engineer skills development. The findings revealed that the first three variables listed above, namely visible, supportive leadership, positive approach to learning by employees and better use of the current organisational structure, are the main drivers for sustainable skills development in the province.