By Victoria Onehi
After a successful 18-month intensive training programme, Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading building Solutions Company has announced the graduation of its 2022/23 set of Graduate Trainees at a ceremony held in Ewekoro.
The Lafarge Africa Graduate Trainee Programme is designed to attract and nurture young, talented individuals who possess the qualifications and attributes to become exceptional leaders in their respective fields.
A statement from Lafarge disclosed that in particular, the 2022 stream focused on Industrial talent, and hence sought to attract primarily Engineering students.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Organisation & Human Resources Director, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Gbemiga Owolabi, stated this. “Our mission was to provide the organisation with well-rounded individuals who are technically sound, having spent a sufficient amount of time training them, and of course also prepare them for leadership positions in the future. Today’s event also shows Lafarge Africa’s commitment to gender equality and job creation.”
Owolabi, advised the graduates to have a growth mindset, embrace professionalism at all times and put in the values, skills and time required. He also charged them to be ethical, aspirational, resilient and look for the right mentorship. “As you graduate today, look for a mentor and start building that network. You need someone to guide you to support and fast track your growth within the business.”
Similarly, Industrial Director, Lafarge Africa Plc, Johannes Diedericks, while speaking to the graduands, urged them to get mentors. “You stand at the doorstep of your own careers. I have had the opportunity to review your progress during this period and what I see is young high potential individuals that can make the change. Make yourself successful in the positions you have been nominated in because that will path your way to the next big position. If you really want to climb the ladder, you need to be successful in what you do.”He said.
The Head of Talent and Organizational Development,Ugochi Bede-Nwokoye made these remarks. “We are proud of the professionals they’ve become and the value they already bring to the business. We are very excited about the future and look forward to their continued growth and success in the organisation.”
While presenting the graduands, the Head, Industrial Learning & Development, Lafarge Africa Plc, Engr. Michael Shokunbi, said they have been prepared to become the epitome of what the company proudly represents in the industry. “These young men and women have learnt a lot and have shown their readiness to put into work all they have learned during the programme.” He said.
Also, Learning and Development Global Programs Manager, Cement Excellent Manufacturing Arshad Tarar had this to say. “This is a unique learning and growth opportunity for you in Lafarge Africa. If you really want to grow in this organisation you have to improve your technical and non-technical skills. You have a whole lot of opportunities to grow within the business.”
Speaking on behalf of the graduands, Egbo Godspower, appreciated the company. “I would like to sincerely appreciate the management and leadership of Lafarge Africa; it is their vision that has brought us to the point of becoming Graduates trainees of the company and successfully graduating today. The leadership team of the Graduate Trainee programme has given us a leverage to explore our unique gifts and talents in various aspects of the business.
On behalf of my colleagues, we’d like to say a big thank you to our mentors, coaches and colleagues who have shared their professional expertise and experience with us, this has shaped us and given us the professional edge that we have now. All that we have received will give us an opportunity to explore our various talents. We will make everyone proud.”Godspower said.
It’s worthy to note that after a meticulous selection process which involved reviewing over 5,000 applications, 15 outstanding candidates were identified with backgrounds in various Engineering disciplines including Mechanical, Electrical, Mining, etc. Sixty percent of the successful applicants are female which is in line with Lafarge Africa’s commitment to Gender Diversity and Inclusion.
Lafarge Africa is active in four business segments including Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products.