It is widely understood that a company’s success and customer satisfaction relies heavily on an effective supply chain. As the industry continues to evolve with technology, and consumers seeking sustainable solutions, it is important to harness young people’s minds and inventiveness to meet the needs that come with the demanding industry. Barloworld Logistics is committed to empowering young people and affording them opportunities through well-established graduate programmes, learnerships, and development programmes.
We sat down with two young people in the business, Lungisani Benede (21 years old male) and Zamantusi Nothando Ngema (26 years old female) both from Kwa-Zulu Natal to chat about the logistics industry and their experience at Barloworld Transport Academy.
Question: How has the opportunity at Barloworld Transport Academy changed your life?
Lungisani: This opportunity has changed my life drastically as it has given me great workplace exposure and experience in the transport field.
Question: What is the one thing you enjoy most about the industry?
Lungisani: I enjoy the different challenges of this industry. Most people see a truck on the road and think “oh it’s just moving from point A to B, no big deal” however there's more to this than meets the eye. The daily “behind the scenes” challenges of moving just one truck is an amazing spectacle to witness. The people here are so eager to teach, mentor as well as facilitate us.
Question: What key skills and knowledge have you acquired from the academy and how have those impacted your life?
Lungisani: My experience so far has been exhilarating yet very informative and enthralling. I have gained a lot of knowledge about the transport industry as a whole. We were also trained on safety and health, and to my amazement that is very critical in this type of industry as one flaw can ruin decades of work. It’s been a great journey of learning something new daily and knowing there’s more to transport than the taxi around the block.
Question: What change would you like to see take place for the South African youth in this industry?
Zamantusi: I would like to see the company together with the academy train more people and hire them; giving hope and also showing that the transport industry is a good place to work in. Lungisani also echoed Zamantusi’s sentiments, adding that the youth should be exposed to working environments rather than just learning about it in theory; experience cannot be taught.
Question: What do you think can be done to expose more young people to information and opportunities in the transport and logistics industry in South Africa?
Zamantusi: The government should also intervene and play its role in doing high school roadshows to educate learners about the transport industry. Lungisani also concurred with Zamantungwa, stating that we should have initiatives that aim to expose the youth to the transport industry. Transport companies must do school visits and exhibitions to educate learners and then recruit them.
Question: How will you be spending your youth day?
Lungisani: Knowing how busy the transport industry is, I’ll probably spend my youth day at work as I believe that a day without learning is a day wasted. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than be in the industry that never sleeps. “Community work is close to my heart and on the day, I will get together with other young people and engage in multiple activities that will empower us,” concluded Zamantusi.