BT-SA has been instrumental in changing the lives of young South Africans through their ongoing learnership program. All this was made possible because of a partnership with Award Enterprise Incubator, to recruit, train and place previously disadvantaged and disabled learners.
Two groups of six learners each participated in the program and graduated recently with National Certificates in Business Administration and Environmental Management respectively. The graduation was attended by Mr. T Olifant, Director of Arts and Culture at Creston College.
“BT-SA’s learnership program started four years ago when we enrolled 6 of our own staff on a management learnership program. Our partners at Award Enterprise Incubator assisted us and guided us through the entire process and we are proud to be part of shaping the future for others in the learnership program,” said BT-SA Director, Themba Gumbi.
BT-SA decided to extend the learnership program to previously disadvantaged communities to give young people access to education, with a view to making a larger difference in the future of our country. The students who have been part of the program also received a monthly stipend from BT-SA to ensure they could make ends meet while engaged in studies.
“Sue Young and her team from Award Enterprise Incubator worked hard to place learners with host companies, to ensure that they can get practical experience. For us at BT-SA, it’s important to make a lasting difference, and the learnership program enables us to do just that,” said Gumbi.
Award Enterprise Incubator’s expertise in this area of skills development ensures that candidates are matched to quality courses that play to their strengths and interests, and which frequently lead to careers in areas in which there are skills shortages – thus increasing their employability upon graduation.
The investment provided six learners the opportunity to study Business Administration at the Genesis Training Centre in the Ugu district of KwaZulu-Natal and another six learners to enroll at the Green Skills Academy in Howick, where they studied Environmental Management at NQF Level 5. At the end of a 12-month period, all 12 learners graduated with a SETA-approved certification in their field of study, together with practical on-the-job training and experience that will enhance their ability to find work.
In the graduation opening speech, one of the top graduates made the following remark about the learnership program: “Because of this learnership, we now have the capability to do more than we have ever be able to do. Thanks to our sponsor BT-SA, you have showed us that we can really be the future of South Africa.”
BT-SA has a richly layered Corporate Social Investment (CSI) program that places children, youth and their education at the center of its efforts to be a good corporate citizen and achieve its vision of “Helping others in need and making our relationships matter, simply because it is the right thing to do”.