Transnet Freight Rail employees celebrate GCU qualifications

06 December 2016

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) employees celebrated the completion of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) qualifications at a ceremony in South Africa today (Tuesday, 6 December).

GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE and Transnet Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama led the third graduation ceremony held at the TFR’s School of Rail campus in Esselenpark.

Today, a total of 145 TFR employees received co-created qualifications including BSc degrees in Railway Operations Management; Diplomas of Higher Education and Certificates of Higher Education.

The programme, managed by the University’s School for Work Based Education, is delivered in South Africa through partnership with the University of Johannesburg and was developed following collaboration with the Institution of Railway Operators. More than 360 TFR employees have completed the programme since its establishment in 2013.

TFR is Transnet’s largest division with more than 36,000 employees and maintains around 80% of Africa’s total rail network. Transnet is investing around £3.9billion in skills development and training as it develops its infrastructure.

GCU, Transnet Freight Rail in South Africa and the University of Johannesburg have extended their successful partnership into the development of an Honours year in Railway Operations Management, and a new postgraduate MSc in Railway Operations Management.

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “I congratulate our latest cohort of graduates and I am proud that the partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Johannesburg and Transnet Freight Rail continues to develop, as we co-create courses to enhance the life chances of Transnet employees at an affordable cost. This activity is an important part of our enduring commitment, as the University for the Common Good, to provide educational opportunity in Africa.”

Siyabonga Gama, Transnet Group Chief Executive, said: “Transnet is proud of the strides it has made in empowering and upskilling its people. For a company that is in the process of reinventing itself, partnerships with institutions such as Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Johannesburg are critical in ensuring that we remain current, relevant and responsive to the needs of our customers.”

In summer 2017, the latest cohort of 70 optometry and orthoptic students from GCU’s Glasgow campus will travel to South Africa to volunteer on Phelophepa, Transnet Foundation’s ‘Miracle Train’ assisting in the delivery of primary health care to poor and rural communities across the country.

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