Beer value chain bolstered by SAB’s apprentice programme

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SAB is pioneering a way to grow the beer industry for all South Africans. One such way, is the work they are doing with local artisans. SAB offers an Apprenticeship programme which entails on-the-job training and a trade qualification to 121 Apprentices

Its recent intake of 23 apprentices were placed at Alrode and Chamdor in Johannesburg, and Rosslyn in Pretoria. The intake included 10 females (43%) and 13 males (57%).

The apprentices serve at the SAB Technical Training Centre which offers a broad range of enrolment opportunities for individuals looking to further their engineering studies. Upon registration, candidates attend a training course at the world class, cutting-edge technology manufacturing plant in Rosslyn. Here they complete on-the-job training and prepare for a trade test to become a qualified, experienced artisan.

Once training courses are completed, artisans go on to graduate in the fields of Millwright, Fitter & Turner, Electrical, Instrumentation & Control, Trade test preparation, and Trade test.

VP of People at SAB, Bridget Makhura, says “We are really proud to offer artisans an opportunity to further their studies and broaden their career prospects.”

One such artisan who is doing exceptionally well is Sheila Rammutla who speaks highly of the apprenticeship.  “It was once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am glad that SAB gave us the opportunity. SAB showed us practically on how to collaborate as teams.” After her apprenticeship, Rammutla got a promotion to be a Process Artisan at the Alrode Brewery in Johannesburg.

Makhura explains, “We believe that as a company SAB is making an impact on the socio-economic footprint of the beer industry in the country. Brewing is a highly productive activity, that has a positive knock-on effect when it comes to the wider economy. It underpins jobs and GDP throughout South Africa, both upstream and downstream.”

According to a study by Oxford Economics, in 2019 the South African beer sector was linked to:

  • 1 in every 66 jobs in South Africa or 249 000 jobs or 1.5% of all jobs.
  • 68,000 jobs supported by wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, sports arenas, and other hospitality venues. This equates to about 0.4% of South African employment.

Makhura concludes, “We have a mission to get the country to see beer differently. And as South Africans recently celebrated Workers’ Day, we’re proud to reflect our contribution of around 249 000 jobs to our nation’s economy (in 2019).

“At SAB we dream big and are committed to building great brands that stand the test of time, and to brew the best beers using the finest natural ingredients. And this means we need the finest employees too. This programme encourages us to continue to play a meaningful role in our country’s development when it comes to job creation.”