The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in the North West Province has partnered with Training Force, a wholly owned subsidiary of Workforce Holdings Limited (JSE: WKF), to give 100 adult learners the skills they need to lift themselves out of unemployment and to join the ranks of the employed workforce
The learners graduated after a three-month course during which they learned NQF Level 2 welding skills, with the final practical evaluation being to build a gas stove. This is a particularly valuable assessment process, as most of the learners come from areas where there is no electricity, and being able to build and sell gas stoves is one way that they can earn a livelihood into the future.
The Department gave the learners a stipend during the course, enabling them to pay their living expenses and support their families while they were learning a new skill. They will be able to use their new skills in businesses they create within their own communities, without having to migrate to more urban settings to find employment.
“The President has reiterated that education remains a top priority for the Government,” says Mr Isaac Monareng, Chief Education Specialist in the DHET. “This includes adult-based education and training, which is the key to economic growth and development in South Africa. Exposing out-of-school youths and adults to lifelong learning and skills training that are geared to create employment opportunities will instill in them the confidence that they need to play a proactive role in the socio-economic structures of the North West Province.”
The Department selected Training Force after a competitive bidding process, tasking the company with packaging, implementing and managing a sustainable, integrated skills and development programme in welding related trades at NQF Level 2.
“Training Force created a programme in line with these specifications, giving learners the skills they need to be accomplished tradesmen and successful entrepreneurs,” says Steven Herscovitz, Managing Director of Training Force. “Our vision is to help create real and sustainable workplace opportunities by introducing adult learners to business management concepts that will increase their skills and production levels. That way, we will help reduce the unemployability rate among adult South Africans by helping them build sustainable businesses.”
Both Training Force and the Department agree that no South African is ever too old to learn a new skill, and that those who are not employed or in any form of training should make use of the ready access to training and upskilling opportunities that the Department is making available.
“Adult skills training and education are fundamental to our growth as a nation,” says Lawrence Diamond, Chief Executive Officer of Workforce Holdings. “Ongoing education is of vital importance to unemployed and employed people, as it is through this that we continue to grow in ourselves, in our ability to provide for our families, and in our ability to contribute to the success of South Africa’s economy.”