OPINION: Temporary employment services – your mining partner in trying economic times, Newsline

DURBAN – In these current and unprecedented times where no industry is left untouched, companies need to invest in the right partners that will enable them to weather the storm with a skilled staff complement that sees operations running optimally, in spite of the challenges. This is the case for the South African mining industry.

The South African mining industry is a critical cog in the wheel of the economy and has undergone some important changes to adjust to the new normal. Fortunately, most of the larger mining conglomerates have protected their employees, providing a stable income despite operational interruption.

That said, the implementation of Level 5 of lockdown undoubtedly caught mining houses unaware; however, it did provide mines with the time to prepare and implement the requisite health protocols. Ultimately, ensuring that employees are safe and healthy guarantees that mines are running at almost-optimal production, mitigating any potential losses and contributing to a current strained economy.

The importance of TES

Mining companies like many others are heavily reliant on a stable and skilled workforce. However, whilst the necessary health protocols are followed, it still remains imperative that workers are protected financially and similarly continue to maximise productivity.

Here, an expert workforce service provider can become an invaluable partner, providing skilled temporary employment services (TES) that meet the high standards set by mining organisations across the country.

For one, a TES provider will ensure that the employee and the mine are the right fit. This goes beyond skills including mining culture. Workers are sourced from the immediate community, therefore, contributing to local socio-economic development.

TES providers offer a rigid screening process which includes comprehensive competency tests, ensuring that a truly skilled individual is placed at the mine in question. Furthermore, the company will offer additional benefits such as medical aid, provident funds and other, ensuring that their temporary workers are well cared for too.

Risk mitigation

A fundamental benefit of partnering with a TES provider is being able to spread the risk so to speak. South Africa has stringent labour laws and a strong union influence. When strike action does occur at a mine, it has the potential to wreak havoc and have a disruptive impact on operations.

We recommend that at least 40 percent of mining houses’ staff is sourced and managed by a TES provider. This means that mining operations won’t come to a complete standstill during industrial action, giving management teams the needed time to negotiate with the various unions.

TES providers have representatives on the ground that deal with complaints as-and-when they occur, allowing management to be forewarned of any impending industrial action and can prepare accordingly.

The best resources for the job

TES providers specialise in various segments of the mining industry such as hauling, loading, earthmoving and maintenance. This means that mining companies will get the best from each industry, as employees are often placed at a new mine once their temporary employment is completed at another. These individuals are truly experts in their fields.

TES providers will ensure that the right person is sourced and placed at the appropriate project. These workers are sourced from the local community and kept on a comprehensive and skilled database which is beneficial to mines as it mitigates unnecessary time in sourcing the requisite workers.

ATES provider is the custodian of a pool of skilled workers that will benefit the mining industry and safeguard its operations in challenging times. It is something that mining houses should seriously consider given the benefits delivered, enabling them to focus on their core operation whilst having peace of mind that their workforce is taken care of and risk is mitigated.

Hendri Poolman, Area Manager at Workforce Staffing