Aspiring to be an employer of choice, Rössing Uranium provides long-term and rewarding employment. We believe that through employment creation we are making significant contributions to society and the economy. We recognise the importance of attracting, developing and retaining people with diverse backgrounds in our business and realise the benefits of developing the skills of others.
In September 2017 Rössing Uranium celebrated the memorable careers of our long-service employees during a cowboy-themed gala dinner when eight 40-year, twelve 35-year
and four 30-year service awards were handed to employees.
Workforce at a glance
At the end of 2017 Rössing Uranium had a workforce totalling 956 employees (which included 33 temporary employees), slightly more than the 949 at the end of the previous reporting year. The average number of contractors at the mine increased from 752 to 964.
Employee relations continued to be an important focus area for our business during 2017 as we strive to maintain harmonious relations with our workforce. There were no work stoppages in 2017. A monthly company-union forum takes place where both sides discuss issues and resolve matters. Rössing Uranium and the Rössing Uranium branch of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia signed a two-year salary agreement for the period 2018 to 2019.
Inclusion and diversity
Inclusion and diversity remains a key initiative that serves as the foundation for accelerated development and retention. Our workforce has been stable over the past four years (see the table at the bottom).
Recognising our employees
Rössing Uranium is committed to recognising our employees as a means of improving employee morale which drives performance excellence and engagement. The Making a Difference (MAD) programme has grown since its inception in 2012.
With our defned values of safety, teamwork, respect, integrity and excellence, we recognise and reward our people’s efforts in their quest for excellence.
During 2017, 333 employees received recognition awards, which is the highest number since inception of the programme.
Capability and development
Capacity building at Rössing Uranium is a critical process aimed at enhancing productivity and organisational performance. The Training and Development section supports the mine's strategy to achieve its objectives by providing support and services to the various departments through collaboration and partnerships. Various initiatives were implemented in the reporting year, supporting the company in achieving our goal of empowering and developing our workforce, which is highlighted below.
Employee engagement: the WHY project
During 2017 Rössing Uranium initiated the WHY project, which aimed to achieve alignment across the business in terms of our values and also to entrench the concept of #onlytogether, promoting the idea that only by working together can we achieve our goals. This programme involved all employees and contractor leaders. New employees will be involved in the programme on a continuous basis.
Rio Tinto People Survey
Rössing participated in the Rio Tinto Group-wide People Survey which took place during April and October 2017. The People Survey provides employees with an opportunity to share their views on various aspects of the business. The aim of the survey is to listen, obtain input from employees, learn from the feedback and improve the business with focused actions on an on-going basis. This will result in a safer and inclusive environment where people are empowered to perform, challenge, develop and excel.
In the Rio Tinto Group, Rössing Uranium had one of the highest scores in both surveys, indicating that those who responded to the survey have a largely favourable view of working at the mine. In addition, various focus groups were conducted to obtain more information from the workforce on areas of improvement. This provided the company with valuable information, serving as a basis for a better understanding of our people.
Developing young Namibians is part of our corporate social responsibility as it contributes to the growth of the nation at large and ensures the development of skills. A total of ten bursary students received support from Rössing Uranium at a total investment of N$1.1 million (excluding vacation work).
Five new bursaries in the felds of civil and mechanical engineering were awarded during 2017 for the 2018 academic year in line with operational requirements as determined by our manpower plan. Five existing bursaries were renewed during the same period.
The mine’s educational assistance scheme for employee dependants at tertiary education level supported 34 dependants at a total investment of nearly N$0.5 million. A total of 30 trade apprentices completed their job attachments as part of their tertiary education curriculum, exposing them to on-the-job learning opportunities within their various disciplines. Further opportunities to support trade apprentices will continue during 2018.
Vocational Education and Training Levy
Rössing Uranium has participated in the Namibia Training Authority's Vocational Education and Training (VET) Levy submission since its inception. Through its contribution, the mine has contributed N$6.4 million during the 2017 training-levy cycle.
Technical training remains pivotal to ensure that the knowledge, skills and attributes of our workforce are enhanced. In 2017 various training interventions to drive effciency and effectiveness were conducted to ensure that skills are imparted at the right levels. Shovel effciency was identifed as an area where practical on-the-job training for operators and maintainers was required.
In addition, as part of uplifting the technical skills of our maintenance teams, the need was identifed to facilitate programmes on the basics of electrical and hydraulic components of auxiliary equipment. In an effort to ensure a blended approach to learning is maintained, additional e-learning modules on various heavy mobile equipment will be rolled out during 2018.