Power utility Eskom has launched a new crowdsourcing platform to help it draw technical skills and expertise from experienced engineers as it continues to fight an uphill battle to keep its power stations online.
The group launched the digital platform on Tuesday (8 November), which it hopes will get active, skilled and willing candidates in one pool that it can draw from.
“Over the past few months, Eskom has received an overwhelming response to its call for highly skilled power generation personnel to come forward to assist in the operational recovery and rebuilding of skills inside the organisation,” it said.
“A digital platform and governance mechanism have been designed and implemented to reap the full benefits of the diversity of skills across the country through the crowdsourcing of these skills into the business.”
Eskom said that crowdsourcing differs from recruitment in that it is triggered by specific technical challenges, is not linked to a permanent position, and targets a talent pool that consists of highly skilled and experienced persons.
“The platform aims to simplify the crowdsourcing process by enabling highly skilled and experienced persons to submit their details directly to the crowdsourcing database.”
To date, the database includes 238 individuals, of which 153 have been shortlisted as potentially active, skilled, and willing candidates. Approximately 25 individuals have been selected for the first phase of the crowdsourcing intake, Eskom said.
These individuals will commence work between November and December 2022. Additional recruitment will take place as and when required by the business, to meet specific technical needs.
To ensure sustainability and to maximise the impact of these skills, each crowdsourced individual is required to transfer skills to the permanent Eskom team that they will work with.
Engineers are encouraged to access the platform and submit their details for consideration if they meet the following criteria:
- Highly skilled electricity generation expert or technical professional (e.g. engineer, power plant operator/controller, artisan, technician);
- Have more than ten years of related experience;
- Able and willing to support Eskom;
- Willing to transfer your skills and expertise.
The crowdsourcing platform comes as South Africa continues to experience extended bouts of load shedding across the country, in what has quickly become the worst year for rolling blackouts on record.
While Eskom has attributed much of its power supply issues to its ageing fleet of power stations, the group has also stated plainly that it has a massive skills deficit, with workers not having the requisite technical skills and expertise to keep the stations maintained and running.
The group has experienced several high-profile disasters over the years, the root causes of which have been traced to worker errors.
Following further breakdowns at its power stations on Tuesday, the power utility was forced to extend stage 2 load shedding until further notice.