Leading enterprise asset management engineering company Pragma will host its award-winning Student Training Programme (STP) again in mid 2020 at its head office in Cape Town. Students are invited to apply for one of the ten sought-after places on this programme. Applications open from 1 March to 31 March 2020.

Day 15 Graduation 2019 Group photo

Graduation Day for students in the 2019 Pragma training programme, pictured here with a few of the Pragma staff involved.

Stéphan Pieterse, Chief People Officer at Pragma, says, “The three-week programme is specifically aimed at B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. (Industrial, Mechanical, Electrical, Electrical and Computer or Mechatronic) students in their third or fourth year of studies. The programme content introduces students to the concepts of enterprise asset management and to Pragma’s services. The students also have the opportunity to participate in coaching and mentoring sessions with Pragma’s senior management team, which offers them valuable life and career lessons.”

According to Darius Booyens, Associate Consultant at Pragma, the theme this year will be Data science|Future-proof your career. Booyens adds, “Data Science is a regular topic in Pragma. It goes hand in hand with connected tech – another big drive in the company. I believe that data science will go from being a wanted skill to a necessary skill in the near future, especially considering the incredibly fast expansion and use of technology in the physical asset management space. The era of connected devices and big data is here and if we aren’t ready, we’ll be left behind.

“The ability to solve complex problems is the top skill needed in jobs going into 2020 and beyond and, if we look at the pace at which new jobs are created and traditional ones come to an end, it’s extremely important to future proof your career. Data science and machine learning will help us become better at our jobs so we can be more efficient and keep up with market demands.”

Nina Booysen, Project Engineer at Pragma, says the student training programme typically runs over fifteen working days and is scheduled for 22 June to 10 July. “This year we celebrate a decade of the STP, and that coincides with Pragma’s 30th birthday. We aim to reunite our Pragma STP alumni for this occasion. 2020 is a big year for the STP and will highlight the impact the programme has had on the lives of the alumni.”

Pieterse explains that Pragma has a thorough and intensive student selection process. “We look at practical skills and knowledge, soft skills (presentation skills), and personality tests. Considering all these criteria, we filter through hundreds of applications and identify talented individuals from different universities. Many of the selected students end up working for Pragma and become great assets and team mates at the company. Both Darius and Nina participated in the programme.”

He also points out that Pragma only considers university students for the STP. The company does have other opportunities available for non-university students and these are detailed on its website.

Pieterse has been involved in the design and execution of the student training programme since Pragma presented its first one in 2011 and he views this as a privilege and an honour. “I’ve seen tremendous growth in the individuals we worked with and I know that many of them are making a lasting impact at the companies they work for. We’ve also experienced that impact at Pragma. It’s time for me to hand over the reins and who better to take over than two STP alumni! I wish Darius Booyens and Nina Booysen all the best. They will take the programme to even greater heights!”

Launched in 2011, the Pragma STP has proven successful – for participating students and for the company – and has won various industry accolades. It was recognised as the best training programme in various categories at the 2015 Skills Development Summit and again at the 2019 Skills Development Summit. It was also listed as a finalist in the Best Graduate Development Programme at the 2019 Future of HR Summit.

Interested students are urged to apply when the application window opens, from 1 March 2020, at https://www.pragmaworld.net/culture-careers/student-training-programme/

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