Distributor of leading global brands, the Barloworld Group, kicks off its search for Chartered Accounting (CA) students mainly from the University of Johannesburg this month. The campaign is part of the company’s Training Outside Public Practice (TOPP) programme.
Barloworld said the successful recruits will gain the career experience of a lifetime and the chance to shape a career path in multiple sectors across the Group’s business units.
Barloworld has run the ground-breaking initiative since 1995. The TOPP programme was established by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SACCI) as an alternative route for qualification as a chartered accountant.
A practical programme in principle, TOPP is a way for Barloworld to build the skills capacity of its future leaders. Andronicca Masemola, who heads up the TOPP at Barloworld, said the company was passionate about people development, which made TOPP an important programme.
“We operate in a country where there is a serious shortage of scarce skills. As a responsible corporate citizen, we can’t stand on the side-lines and expect other people to bridge the gap. We are looking after our long term sustainability as a business by ensuring we develop people with the skills we require to operate both now and in the future,” said Masemola.
Barloworld’s TOPP programme has evolved to such an extent that it now produces some of the company’s future leaders, she said, adding that TOPP graduates with potential often progress through the company ranks very quickly.
“We pride ourselves in the success of our recruits, and their often meteoric rise, has motivated us to continue with TOPP. We have had tremendous support and commitment from our senior leadership, who are mentors to the trainees.
“As one of the longest standing companies in South Africa – we are over 110 years old – and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Barloworld provides an enticing option for graduates to work at any of our business units in automotive, equipment, logistics, power and agriculture,” said Masemola.
Khathutshelo Mavhungu, who started at Barloworld as a TOPP trainee in February this year in the company’s motor retail division, describes the experience as ‘invaluable’.
“TOPP is one of the best ways to achieve the skills you need to qualify as a CA. The practical training is invaluable in preparing one for the real business world. An important part of the experience is the fact that each trainee is given a CA mentor who walks the road with us – and often sacrifice their precious time to coach, be available and support us. Their commitment is comforting and encouraging and has the full backing of Barloworld management,” said Mavhungu.
Tlhabi Moiloa, who completed her TOPP training in February 2015, took up a position as Avis Fleet’s Financial Manager, and recently was promoted to Strategy Analyst at the company.
“The TOPP training at Barloworld has impacted hugely on my career, and helped me gain a firm understanding of business. I was exposed to different business units during my training, which broadened my exposure and experience across various sectors,” said Moiloa.
One of the most valuable learnings from TOPP, for Moiloa, was the mentorship and networking. “What I learnt from the experiences of others has given me a greater understanding of how others think. My skills were sharpened, and I grew to be more adaptable. TOPP is definitely a worthwhile experience at Barloworld, and has shaped my career into the success it is today,” she said.
Amanda Fairley is one of Barloworld’s biggest success stories to date as, 10 years after completing her articles, she is running a business unit in Barloworld’s logistics division.
“TOPP gave me the training and experience I needed to progress through the organisation. I used my time as a trainee to network and develop my reputation within Barloworld. The mentorship of the senior leaders at Barloworld was a great support. It has been inspiring to see Barloworld’s commitment to this programme, and to the skills development of its future leaders,” said Fairley.
New recruits require a Certificate in Theory of Accounting (CTA) and an Honours in CTA and applicants need to qualify to write the qualifying examinations for Chartered Accountants.
“We are looking for recruits with strong personalities that make them stand out as future leaders and change makers. We are looking for innovative individuals committed to sustainable business,” said Masemola.
A stringent assessment process ensures that the TOPP opportunity is offered to the best candidates.
Applicant assessments will start after June, when potential recruits will go through a first round of interviews to assess their suitability to the business. Shortlisted candidates will be put through a second set of panel interviews before the final decision is made. The successful recruits are chosen by February 2017, and placed across the Group in business units where their learning will begin in earnest.
Interested students can contact Barloworld on [email protected] for more information.