Young mining & metals specialists from Europe meet their African, Brazilian and Kazakhstan's counterparts at ERG’s inaugural Group-wide Youth Forum

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On 16th to 18th May 2022, Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “the Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group which is headquartered in Luxembourg and which originated from Kazakhstan, gathered together 250 of young employees from its operations across the world for the Group’s international Youth Forum.

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23/05/2022 |
  • ERG's Youth Forum 2022

    ERG's Youth Forum 2022

Production manufacturers and plant managers from Europe, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Mauritius, and Mozambique, have come to attend this unique event. The objective of the Forum, which was held in Bayanaul in the Pavlodar Region of Kazakhstan, was to better integrate ERG’s young employees into the Group’s corporate culture and establish a Group-wide Youth Council. The theme of the event was “ERG’s Cultural Code: A New Generation”. ERG’s employees discussed how the corporate culture contributes to achieving the company’s strategic goals and finding solutions to modern-day challenges.

Steve Kamwenyi, Tracking Technician at Sabot DRC Africa, said: “The more we have this kind of unity, the more we can bring everyone to one level of understanding about what the organisation is all about. Of course, our countries differ from one another, with different laws in place but the purpose that the organisation have and the way that it is going and its principles, I think they are pretty much the same from what I have seen so far.”

Asylkhan Kyzdarbekov, Manager for Heating and Water Supply of the Chief Power Engineer’s service, JSC Shubarkol Komir, and Chair of the plant’s Youth Council, said: “The Forum was an interesting opportunity, embracing many dedicated formats, including intellectual tasks and psychology. Comparing our employees to Marvel heroes was creative and thought-provoking, helping better understand your own strengths and areas for improvement, and in principle opening yourself to new perspectives and viewpoints.”

Oleg Mityaev, Junior Corporate Accountant & Control Specialist at ERG in Amsterdam, said: “The Forum is an example of something ERG can achieve through its size and scope. The Forum has gathered representatives of our various offices, countries and cultures. These people are here united with a common goal and mission. Such Forums significantly contribute to the development of ERG’s corporate culture as an international business.”

Felipe Heiderick, Head of Procurement and Supply Chains at BAMIN, was quoted, saying: “The youth is the future of ERG and the Youth Forum is absolutely vital. My intention is to teach what I’ve learned here to the youth of Brazil – to support them in their development as professionals, and to support the company in its drive for excellence.”

In his welcome address to the Forum Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG, said: “This Forum takes place during the Year of Corporate Culture at ERG, which we have declared across our global operations. We decided to devote this event to strengthening our corporate culture and I am delighted to see that the Forum has united ERG’s talented young employees from all over the world. We recognise that the young people of today will shape the world of tomorrow, and ERG is committed to investing in our young employees and supporting their growth and progression.”

Inna Gubareva, Chief People Officer at ERG, also addressed the Forum, saying: “The modern world is chaotic and unpredictable; the only way to be successful in the longer-term is through the ability to adapt, transform ourselves and transform the whole company. And it is our young employees who can be the drivers of these continuous changes, who can apply new knowledge, and who can allow us to together achieve our ambitious mission. It is our young employees who will help the company guide and shape the cultural code of ERG and help us all understand how we can reach our most ambitious goals. Our shared values make us one family and one team, and allow us to be on the same wavelength no matter what languages we speak. We hope that when you return to your companies and enterprise, you will share your newly acquired experience as well as ERG energy with your colleagues, becoming agents of future changes and improvements.”

Of ERG’s 75,000 employees and contractors, more than 38% are workers under the age of 35. The newly created ERG Youth Council will provide an opportunity for these employees to identify priority areas of youth policy, strengthen the Group’s corporate culture, and outline a plan to increase the involvement of young people in achieving the company's goals.

In Kazakhstan, ERG has been implementing a wide range of projects to support its talented employees and young people in local communities. This includes the ERG Academy, ERG Digital University, ERG Innovators’ Forum, the League of Professionals, the ‘LIFT’ youth talent project, ERG’s New Leaders, the Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, and ERG Open Days at local universities, among many other initiatives.

In Africa, with an eye on uplifting young people in its surrounding communities and developing skilled employees to match its growing operation, ERG has increased its youth capacity building programmes. Through its dedicated training centres, ERG offers internships and apprenticeships to talented youth, and organises site tours for students to expose them to careers in mining. At Metalkol, the current apprenticeship programme comprises 50% women, illustrating our commitment to developing female talent within the industry.

Meanwhile BAMIN, ERG’s subsidiary in Brazil, has launched the ‘Canteiro Escola’ initiative to provide vocational skills training and employment opportunities for young people. Last year, 160 people were trained as part of the project, many of whom will be employed at BAMIN in the future. In 2022, the Group intends to train around 1,000 people from local communities.

“It is splendid that it was possible to arrange the attendance in person by representatives of our remote African and Brazilian assets. Output volumes at our greenfield production facilities in Africa and Brazil are growing annually, and will play an increasingly important role in the Group’s KPIs,” added Mr Sobotka.

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