Fifty-one female beneficiaries of the Youth Employment Programme have received training in driving heavy-duty trucks under its Zoom Captains programme of Zoomlion Ghana Limited.
They undertook a 15-week training that was crowned in a closing ceremony on Friday, September 10, 2021 at the Armed Forces Supplies and Transport Training School (FATS), Burma Camp in Accra.
The Zoom Captains Concept was launched on July 16, 2008, when 25 Female Youth Employment beneficiaries were trained in the operation of various categories of Heavy duty/Earth Moving Equipment (Excavators, graders, vibratory rollers, payloaders and trash compactors). Today, these operators have been absorbed into our mainstream operations and can be seen exhibiting their skills on the various landfill sites and sites where we need to construct roads to aid our operations.
It is the company’s objective to also build a work environment that encourages and promotes affirmative action in less popular feminine job roles, which the Zoom Captains programme has extended to mainstream commercial driving.
Closing the ceremony, the Commanding Officer of the FATS – Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Gyamerah Amoako, charged the participants to put into practice the knowledge and skills they have acquired – as well as the discipline they experienced. He expressed the school’s appreciation to the Jospong Group of Companies for making it a part of their training programme.
“And it is also my hope that when you get out there you will be given the opportunity to handle and operate these vehicles, because you have all the competencies to do so,” he said.
However, he recommended that the new female heavy-duty truck drivers should be attached to the company’s male heavy-duty truck drivers to further build their confidence and sharpen their competencies, and enable the new drivers to become conversant with the operations of heavy-duty vehicles.
According to Lt. Col. Franklyn Gyamerah Amoako, the ladies have acquired competencies in driving various tonnage capacity of trucks: “I must say these were ladies who had no knowledge at all in driving, and within the time-frame were able to be transformed from ground zero to heavy-duty drivers,” he disclosed.
With the help of instructors, he said, the trainees were taught from scratch how to move a vehicle from rest, changing gears, steering control, road signs, road manners and ethics among several topics and skills. He explained that this was because apart from the weight of the vehicle, participants had to be introduced to the hydraulic systems which are a major feature of heavy-duty trucks.
“I am also happy to note that in collaboration with the DVLA the school has managed to acquire for all the 51 participants licence B – upon which they will systematically be migrated to the licence C, D in due course.”
Mrs. Florence Larbi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Environment and Sanitation Cluster of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), congratulated the female heavy-duty truck drivers for going through a successful 15-weeks training.
She said these were street-sweepers who had no idea in driving, saying: “Today they have been trained to drive heavy-duty trucks of the company”.
She maintained that it has always been the vision of the Executive Chairman of JGC, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, to empower women to take up such challenging opportunities so as to make them confident and compete with their male counterparts.
“Zoomlion Ghana Limited and the entire Jospong Group has a culture of empowering our staff with the necessary learning interventions. For example, this year alone our organization has invested about one million cedis in the developmental needs of our staff with the Ghana Armed Forces Training School,” she noted – adding that the company maintains it focus on enhancing the diversity and inclusiveness programmes, and this is another reason why all these ladies were selected to undertake this Development programme.
Earlier this year, one hundred drivers and two hundred janitors were trained and passed out successfully at this same school, and these included ladies. Additionally, our management team participated in the Senior Executive Leadership training courses as well. This is to enable us build a formidable, resilient and disciplined team of employees who deliver efficient services with military precision.