Back to the future

Training for careers rather than short term skills

 

South Africa has placed significant emphasis on skills development post 1994, but its success is reliant on the commitment from business. Western Cape painting and waterproofing professionals, Indawo, has put its weight behind Freeworld Coatings Paint Academy. In 2010 Indawo provided practical training for 14 students, increasing this to 17 from the academy’s 2011 intake. The success of the programme saw no less than 10 learners from the 2010 academic year, all female, being offered full time employment at Indawo.

Indawo Managing Director, Peter Jäck says, “It is critical to our country’s success that business endorses development programmes, such as the one offered by Freeworld, and commit to providing vital practical experience to give learners careers, not just skills. The knock-on effect of these programmes and the impact they have on the socio-economic upliftment in communities is immeasurable. Just one job can provide better lifestyles for employees and their families, and will go a long way in alleviating poverty in our communities.”

Two programmes, supported by CHIETA (Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority) and CETA (Construction Education & Training Authority), are offered at the academy:
Basic Brush Hand Skills NQF 1 (one month entry level course) where learners are exposed to the basic knowledge and skills required in the industry.
National Certificate: Building and Civil Construction NQF 3 (1 year), with theoretical and practical training. Contractors play host for learners to gain on-the-job training and guidance during this programme.

Tino Engel of Freeworld Coatings Academy says, “We have capacity for 50 learners and, since 2006, have provided formal, accredited training to disadvantaged individuals to equip them with the skills needed to complete the requirements to qualify and be certified as a painter and find employment within the industry. The practical training units replicate substrates and surfaces that learners will encounter on site. We have successfully trained 99 learners on our Basic Brush Hand Skills Programme and 77 learners on our National Certificate programme. We currently have 17 learners registered to qualify for their National Certificate.”

Jäck provides some insight into why Indawo is pro skills development programmes:
Skills shortage. Indawo is committed to drawing skills from the community and to be able to play a role in helping to place those skills into the areas in which they operate offers an ideal win-win solution. Individuals are economically active and industry has a talent pool from which to draw skills.
Training. Indawo already invests significantly in training, a critical aspect of the business. By spreading the skills network wider to include specialist training companies, the talent pool becomes significantly larger for Indawo.
Flexibility. By its very nature, the construction industry is volatile with fluctuations in the demand for skilled labour. Indawo can employ students on a flexi-staffing basis and give them the opportunity to gain the experience needed through on the job training that is a part of these types of skills development programmes.
Social and economic upliftment. Industry has the best of both worlds. Skills training is provided by reputable and qualified trainers and companies are able to draw on skills that are immediately available improving productivity.

Jäck continues, “The fact that we have employed 10 learners from Freeworld proves that the quality of their training is superb. Our clients have come to expect a high standard of service and quality from Indawo. We can only give them this quality if our painters are professionally trained and highly skilled.”

Engel says, “ Contractors roles are vital to the success of the programme as they not only give learners an opportunity to practice the skills they have gained through training in a real time environment, but also allows them to experience a construction worksite first hand. This experience also gives learners an entry into the construction and painting industry.”

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