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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Motor assessment success

Mutual & Federal has recently completed a pilot Motor Engineer Internship Programme, which Basetsana Magano, Executive General Manager: Group Human Resources describes as a rewarding success. The five month pilot internship, held from 1st June to 31st October last year, was attended by five motor engineers, being four external candidates and one Mutual & Federal employee. The success lays the foundation for further such programmes to be offered on a regular basis
Mutual & Federal currently offers three other internship programmes: Information Technology, Claims, and Insurance Processor/Underwriting internships. Other programmes are a Fast Track Trainee Business Development Consultant Programme and a Financial Sector Charter (FSC) Learnership programme. These initiatives fall under the banner of Employment Equity Learning Schemes. Magano says the objective is to create a pool of talent from which the company can draw and in so doing contribute to alleviating the country’s skills shortage as well as meet pre-defined organisational EE targets. “The internships, with specific reference to the Motor Engineer Programme, also address the skills shortages of motor engineers in the industry, as identified in the INSETA Sector Skills Plan.”
The first two months of the Motor Engineer Internship Programme were spent in a simulated, lecture-based environment. This phase involved product training (consisting of credit-bearing skills programmes which are aligned to unit standards of the NQF Level 4 Short Term Insurance Qualification) and systems training with the Mutual & Federal Learning & Development department. The technical on-the-job training (specific processes and procedures) was conducted by the Mutual & Federal Motor Solutions Department. The interns also underwent behavioural training, equipping them with basic interaction and people skills required when dealing with clients and panel beaters.
Months three and four were dedicated to practical training and the five interns were allocated to the branches in Johannesburg, Roodepoort and Pretoria. Each learner was placed with a senior motor engineer who served as mentor and coach throughout the duration of the programme. A significant amount of time was spent shadowing insurance assessors, as they visited clients and made their rounds to the panel beaters. The learners observed and at times were allowed to conduct motor assessments themselves. Some of the learners who did not have a motor background spent time at a panel repair shop to gain relevant experience, and then returned to the branch to resume their training.
The final month of the programme was a probation period. Interns were afforded the opportunity to spend time alone on the road, being allocated their own assessments yet closely monitored to ascertain whether they could apply all they had learned in the first four months.
“The candidates really came through with flying colours and the four who were not with Mutual & Federal prior to the programme were offered permanent positions in selected regions with effect from 1st November 2008,” says Magano. “Alan Ditshetelo, who did not have prior motor experience before joining the programme, was awarded the "Top Achiever’s" award for the best overall student. Based on the very positive outcome of the pilot Motor Engineer Internship Programme, we have already made plans to implement the second intake of intern motor engineers for this year.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:22.4 1st April, 2009
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