THE GRADUATE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME – ANOTHER PRODUCT OF THE MQA
In the process of forging ahead with skills development initiatives and the transformation of the Mining and Minerals Sector, the MQA has established in 2005 a Graduate Development Programme (GDP).
The MQA GDP is aimed at increasing the number of technical graduates with the necessary training and qualifications required for professional employment in the Mining and Minerals Sector.
The target group for the programme is young unemployed historically disadvantaged South Africans who have competed degrees or diplomas in the scarce skills disciplines as identified in the MQA Sector Skills Plan. These include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electro Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Jewellery Design and Manufacturing, Metallurgical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Mineral processing, Analytical Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Management, Mine Survey and Industrial Engineering.
In the interest of presenting a good product to the Sector, the MQA put together a Task Team of industry expert including experts from the Department of Minerals and Energy and organized Labour to develop programme requirements for each discipline (i.e. Exit requirements, Outcomes and the Assessment Criteria for each discipline).
Candidates are required to complete two years structured with an industry host employer. To date 110 candidates are placed with different companies in the Sector undergoing training.
A grant of R165 000 per candidate per annum over the two year period is made available to the host employer to cover the costs for training, allowances, travel, accommodation, medical cover, unemployment insurance fund, insurance, personal protective clothing, etc. The grant is paid out in advance by MQA on a quarterly basis provided that:
1. A tripartite contract between the MQA, the employer and the candidate is signed;
2. Quarterly progress reports are submitted to the MQA signed by both the candidate and the employer.
On completion of the programme, candidates are required to find employment in the Sector and work for a period that is not less than the period of training. If they can not find employment within six months of completion, they are released from the contractual obligations.