Mentorship, Training and Skills

At a Glance
  • Efforts to mentor, train, and provide skills development to local businesses should be adapted to meet the specific needs for each context, rather than replicating existing programs that have been successful.
  • Programs typically involve preparing and supporting a detailed training planthat covers elements such as business management, quality management, environmental management, occupational health and safety (OHS), finance and costing, sales and marketing, product management and administration.
  • Supplier capacity-building is often provided through: suppliers workshops; course training; company sponsorship of supplier management; distribution of written training materials; provision of goods needed to allow for reverse-engineering; and joint ventures and/or branch office creation.
  • Training programs differ by primary actor (whether a specific company, group of companies, government agency, or organization) and scope (whether project specific, regional, or national).

As described in the Assessing the Current Situation subtopic the capacity gaps of local suppliers can be wide ranging, necessitating varied responses. It is important that efforts to mentor, train, and provide skills development to local businesses are adapted to meet the specific needs for each context, rather than replicating existing programs that have been successful.

Programs typically involve preparing and supporting a detailed training plan that covers elements such as business management, quality management, environmental management, occupational health and safety (OHS), finance and costing, sales and marketing, product management and administration. Mentoring sessions usually comprise a significant component of the programs; these are also often linked to other service providers and agencies that promote technological innovation and access to finance.[1]

Supplier capacity-building is often provided through the following:

  • Suppliers workshops
  • Ongoing course training at a dedicated center or rented space
  • Training at the site of the supplier
  • Company sponsorship of supplier management and/or staff to take courses provided by an external provider, such as a vocational institute or NGO
  • Written training materials distribution
  • Provision of required goods needed to allow for reverse-engineering
  • Joint ventures and/or branch office creation

Where various extractive companies operate in the same area or region, there could be the risk of duplication of efforts when each project individually develops a supplier development program. This has led countries such as Ghana to develop national supplier development programs, to streamline training and enhance its sustainability over time. 

Training programs differ by primary actor (whether a specific company, a group of companies, a government, and organization) and scope (whether project specific, regional, or national). For more information on job training and education programs see Building Job Skills Required By Extractives.

View footnotes

[1] Ana Maria Esteves et al., Procuring from SMEs in Local Communities: A Good Practice Guide for the Australian Mining, Oil and Gas Sectors, (Brisbane: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland, 2010), 49

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