Eskom turns to crowdsourcing technology to plug skills deficit

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Eskom plans to launch a crowdsourcing digital platform soon that it hopes will allow it to overcome the serious shortage of skills, including technical and engineering talent, that is impacting its ability to maintain its creaking power network.

The crowdsourcing initiative will “leverage partnerships with statutory and non-statutory bodies such as the Engineering Council of South Africa and others to ensure that Eskom can access the best candidates in the electricity supply industry, engineering and technical professions”, the state-owned utility said in a statement on Friday.

It defined crowdsourcing as the “practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via a digital platform”.

“Since South Africa has a pool of skilled persons, crowdsourcing of these skills may offer a unique opportunity for available and willing citizens to support Eskom to resolve its business challenges,” the company said.

“This crowdsourcing opportunity has been prompted by several offers and submissions received from organisations and individuals, including experienced engineers and technical experts, who have indicated that they could potentially assist Eskom,” it added.

“In order for Eskom to reap the highest benefit from this diversity of skills, it must develop a governance mechanism and a platform that will provide equitable opportunity to all those willing to be considered for service,” said human resources group executive Elsie Pule. “The process will be driven by the needs of Eskom and will follow a standard governance process for fixed-term contracting.”

Eskom said the skills it’s looking for include mechanical, nuclear, electrical, system and maintenance experts, as well as senior artisans and plant operators for its coal-fired power stations and the Koeberg nuclear power station.

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“In recent months, Eskom has received an overwhelming response to its call for skilled personnel to come forward to assist in rebuilding skills inside the organisation, and numerous organisations and individuals have come forward to respond to this critical call for national service,” the utility said.

“A diverse cross-section of South Africans have sent enquiries and made themselves available to respond to the call to national service,” said CEO André de Ruyter. “Eskom is in the process of matching the skills that have already been made available to its needs and will be recruiting the suitable candidates imminently.”

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While the digital platform is still in development, individuals who wish to be considered should contact [email protected], it said.  – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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