GCU and Transnet staff celebrate Railway Operations Management degrees

30 October 2015

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE and the Honourable Minister of Public Enterprises in South Africa, Lynne Brown MP, today (October 30) led the second graduation ceremony for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) employees who have completed degrees, diplomas and certificates in Railway Operations Management.

The programme is the first of its kind that offers a formal qualification in Railway Operations Management in South Africa, as the company intensifies training to boost its service.

One hundred and eighty Transnet staff completed programmes especially designed for TFR. These included Bachelor of Science degrees in Railway Operations Management, Diplomas of Higher Education and Certificates of Higher Education. The ceremony featured a keynote speech from Lynne Brown MP.

Launched in 2012, the programme is delivered in partnership between GCU’s School for Work Based Education, the University of Johannesburg, the UK’s Institution of Railway Operators and Transnet’s School of Rail.

The graduates will hold qualifications from GCU, with the programme delivered locally in partnership with the University of Johannesburg. The programme originated in the UK through collaboration with the Institution of Railway Operators.

Professor Gillies said: “I am honoured to attend this graduation ceremony and congratulate Transnet Freight Rail employees on their achievements. We continue to enjoy a unique and successful partnership with Transnet Freight Rail and the University of Johannesburg, offering co-created courses of relevance to business, that we hope will have a transformative impact on the graduating Transnet Freight Rail students.

“This project is an outstanding example of GCU’s commitment to providing the highest quality education and research as the University for the Common Good.”

Transnet has set aside R7 billion of its R312 billion seven-year infrastructure investment programme for skills development and training.

Group Chief Executive (Acting) Transnet SOC Ltd, Mr Siyabonga Gama, said: “Training and upskilling of our people is a key element of the Market Demand Strategy (MDS). In the long term, our intention is to establish a corporate university, in which we will develop fit-for-purpose employees to run, operate and manage world-class rail, ports and pipeline operations. Our partnership with GCU, which we are celebrating today, is a major milestone towards the attainment of that ideal.”

Minister Lynne Brown said: “Given the colossal skills shortages in scarce and critical skills areas needed to drive industrialisation to support the achievement of the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan objectives, Transnet must be commended for its continuous support in achieving these objectives by setting specific skills development targets in its Shareholder Compacts on an annual basis.”