- SSGC’s ELP an initiative to create opportunities for attracting, retaining young workforce
Syed Imran Ahmed, A-DGM (Corporate Communications) SSGC shared the following with PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST
Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, and who will not settle for the routine. — David Ogilvy
Keeping the tradition of nearly ten years alive, SSGC will soon welcome with open arms another batch of young talented graduates who will step into SSGC offices from Karachi to Quetta for first-hand exposure as trainees in engineering, finance and other disciplines. Besides getting hands-on experience, these trainees will be mentored by seasoned professionals as part of the SSGC Emerging Leadership Programme (ELP). In short, the ELP programme will be an exciting opportunity for fresh graduates to develop leadership skills in their areas of focus during a two-year training period.
Primary aim: ELP was launched by SSGC in 2013 as an initiative to create opportunities for attracting and retaining young people from varied backgrounds in the Company’s workforce. The main objective behind the programme was to ensure a talent pipeline of high-performing future managers for critical business roles. ELP is a long-term approach that builds and nurtures a high-quality workforce for the Company.
The programme provides young engineering and business graduates a chance to gain the requisite experience to bridge the academic and industry gap and learn the right skill sets to emerge as future leaders. To date, more than 300 trainees have been enrolled. Considering the technical nature of the Company’s core businesses, on average 70 percent of the trainees are from engineering or technical, while 30 percent are from the management background.
Young ELP trainees at SSGC get a chance to be enrolled on a rotational basis in a wide and diverse bevy of areas that include projects and construction, transmission, distribution, information technology, customer services, human resources, corporate communications and finance and accounts. A programme as ambitious and progressive as ELP provides young professionals with the following opportunities that would help them throughout their potential career:
- Development of leadership aptitudes
- Continuous training with experienced professionals
- Development of functional and managerial skills through On” and “Off” the-Job-training.
- Understanding of diverse SSGC’s business operations
- Market competitive stipend
ELP lies at the core of its HR strategy and is essential for maintaining a motivated workforce focused on teamwork, driving results, achieving excellence and of course, developing future-oriented young leaders. All this time, make learning fun.
Diversity: What makes the ELP programme so unique is that it aims to attract not just young graduates hailing from urban Sindh and Balochistan but also from rural areas of these provinces where finding the right employment opportunity commensurate with qualification and education is a relatively uphill task. The Company fervently believes that a programme like ELP that reaches out to a wide spectrum of youngsters creates cultural diversity by bringing under one roof individuals hailing from different backgrounds, religions and possessing diverse skills and talents.
SSGC has always been proud of being a public utility serving the entire country. ELP further consolidates this mindset.
Eligibility criteria has been designed in such a way that it gives an engineering or business graduate from any HEC-recognised tertiary level institution with a good CGPA, an opportunity to apply for a place in SSGC, regardless of gender or socio-economic background. A transparent selection process is maintained for enrollment of each batch, starting from newspaper and social media advertisements followed by initial screening, third-party conducted aptitude tests and finally panel interviews. Once enrolled in the ELP programme, the young professional starts a two-year programme as a management trainee.
Although it has been more than 9 years since the ELP programme started, the Company management still considers the ELP programme as an essential strategy for introducing raw and new talent within the organisation.
This year, the Company’s HR Department has planned to visit selected universities across its franchise areas to introduce the programme, create awareness about the application process and showcase a positive brand image about the Company and its workforce. The programme is also heavily promoted in conventional and social media so as to reach out to a maximum number of prospective candidates.
Right ingredients: Once an ELP trainee enters SSGC, he or she will step into a professional, energetic, vibrant and safe working atmosphere. If the young professional can demonstrate plenty of passion, commitment and creativity in his or her work, that individual is bound to go places. A team of seasoned professional of managers and executives will always be at their side to train, guide and mentor them. A word of caution, however, In order to achieve success a young ELP professional will need to leave his or her comfort zone, work hard and emulate the core values of the organisation in order to stand out and be counted among the best and brightest.
“The world accommodates you for fitting in but only rewards you for standing out” – Matshona Dhliwayo