FROM THE ED'S DESK

When hard work pays off

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One of the definitions of the word “achievement” is “something that has been done or achieved through effort; a result of hard work.” And that’s exactly the thing about achievement: It does not come without hard work. I cannot think of one person who has achieved amazing heights without putting in an enormous amount of effort.

The handful of people who have made it to the top and have achieved, by chance, should count themselves extremely lucky  — and make sure they enjoy the moment, as achievement without power is hardly ever sustainable.

It is rarely that we see great achievement without passion, dedication and selflessness. And that’s exactly what impressed me at this year’s ArcelorMittal Skills Development Summit: the incredible effort of individuals and companies to achieve a level of skills development that is not just of an exceptionally high standard — but also aimed at creating inclusive and sustainable growth.

If I, and all of you who attended, remember nothing else from this year’s event, it will be the fact that it became very clear, during the sessions and in private conversations with people, that in the various business sectors — transport, logistics, automotive, mining, engineering, agriculture, IT or science — decision-makers are realising the importance of developing their people and the communities they serve. And they’re putting their money where their mouths are.

Looking at this year’s entries, especially the winning participants, we notice that our Best Training Programme (small company), Vukani-Ubuntu Community Development Projects, has launched 12 successful community development projects and fund-raised more than R60 million from more than 30 local and international donors since 1998. All the Vukani projects are still in existence.

Our Best Public Sector Training Programme winner — and winner of the Best Innovative Training Provider Award — Ligbron Academy of Technology, is the only SMART School in Africa, and its e-learning project, which transmits maths and science classes to rural schools, has received various other awards internationally.

In light of all this, I want to salute our winners: for adding value to society; for making a difference in the lives of thousands, who would be lost without their dedication, for contributing to a more meaningful and sustainable South Africa, and for passionately achieving extraordinary goals against many odds.

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