Johannesburg, Wednesday, 14 March 2018: A multilateral partnership between the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA), Netcare and several TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges has resulted in 51 young TVET learners not only successfully completing the Basics of Stores and Stock Control (BSSC) certificate endorsed by the South African Production and Inventory Control Society (SAPICS), but also becoming permanently employed as pharmacy store assistants at various Netcare hospitals across the country.
The achievements of these learners were today celebrated at a graduation ceremony held at Netcare’s head office in Sandton. The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, the Honourable Buti Manamela, attended the event and delivered the keynote address.
During his tenure as Deputy Minister in the Presidency, with responsibility for youth development amongst other things, Deputy Minister Manamela was responsible for the Youth Policy 2015-2020 which had set a favourable environment for youth development, and has initiated many advancements aimed at the development of young people.
“The proposed National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) 2030 which was gazetted in December 2017 by the Minister of Higher Education and Training has been developed to improve both the integration of the post-school education and training system and the interface between PSET institutions and the world of work. One of the core objectives of the NSDP 2030 is to promote a stronger and more cooperative relationship between education and training institutions and the workplace,” Deputy Minister Manamela said in his address.
“The collaboration was initiated as part of a proposal that Netcare CEO, Dr Richard Friedland, presented to various stakeholders including the National Treasury and HWSETA, to drive targeted skills development initiatives that would lead to the creation of permanent jobs for our youth, through collaborative initiatives by the public and private healthcare sectors,” states Sanjay Khoosal, Netcare Head of People Development and Employment Equity.
Several NSDS objectives that have been successfully addressed through this project include forging positive and collaborative partnerships with the SETAs, the higher education institutions and employer organisations, bridging skills mismatches between demand and supply, creating job opportunities, and driving socio-economic transformation through the inclusion of black persons in economic activities.
“In this new era of ‘thuma mina’, meaning ‘send me’ in Zulu, this project bears testimony to the success we can all achieve when we transcend our ideological differences and work together – government, the education sector and the private sector – to drive inclusive economic growth, to bridge the gap between the provision of education in our schooling system and the world of work, and most importantly to uplift our people out of the triple burden of unemployment, poverty and inequality, and to build a country of which we can all be proud of,” Dr Friedland said of the collaboration between the different roleplayers that culminated in the learners’ graduation.
“Even before the Ministry of Higher Education and Training called on employers in all sectors to open up their places of work as places of training in 2013, Netcare had for several years worked closely with the HWSETA in a variety of skills development projects,” comments Dr Confidence Moloko, Chairperson of the HWSETA Board. “Netcare’s involvement in this project once again proves their commitment to building much-needed skills in the health sector.”
Commending Netcare’s focused and vigorous approach to skills development in the health sector over many years, Deputy Minister Manamela said: “The involvement of employers in skilling our country’s youth cannot be over stated. What we are celebrating here today is a shining example of what is possible from a skills development perspective when the different players in the skills development environment collaborate for the greater good. I sincerely hope that your successes will encourage more employers to become actively involved in developing our youth and driving the skills development mandate.”
With assistance from Campus Managers at TVET Colleges in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the Western and Eastern Cape, learners who had successfully completed either business or financial management studies were identified for placement at Netcare hospitals across the country where they underwent an accelerated ‘Netcare on-boarding’ process. Once completed, the learners commenced an eight-month ‘Basics of Stores and Stock Control’ course in 2017.
By the end of February 2018, 51 learners had successfully completed the programme and were offered full-time employment in Netcare hospitals.
“Successfully completing their training and becoming employed by Netcare are important first steps for these young learners, and we at Netcare will support them in furthering their career development. The SAPICS certificate in the Principles of Production and Inventory Management [PPIM] would, for example, be an appropriate next step for them,” says Khoosal.
In congratulating the graduates, Deputy Minister Manamela said they should be proud of their achievements but also be grateful for the opportunity that has been afforded to you through the combined efforts of Netcare, the HWSETA and the principal of your TVET College. Referring to the fact that Netcare has offered employment to all the graduates, he said: “Your future starts here today – work hard and remember that learning is a lifelong activity. You are the future leaders of our country. The world is yours for the taking, take what has been provided to you and make it work for you, your loved ones and the country.
One of the graduates, Nompi Mbongo, who is now employed by Netcare Linksfield Hospital, echoes the sentiments of many of her co-learners: “It was an amazing course. Doing both theoretical and practical work meant that you could take the theory you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in the workplace. I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by the HWSETA and Netcare, and to my line manager for coaching me throughout the course. I am inspired to continue growing my career.”
Whilst this project has made a meaningful contribution to skills development of, and job creation for, young people it has also resulted in the establishment of key relationships between Netcare and TVET Colleges across the country.
“The country’s TVET College system has an important role to play in addressing the challenges facing the higher education and training needs of South Africa’s youth, and the success of this initiative will not only serve as important building blocks for future projects between willing companies such as Netcare and the colleges, but will hopefully also inspire more corporates to join forces with the colleges to accelerate skills development and job creation for the youth in other sectors of the economy,” says Mrs Elaine Brass, Acting CEO for the HWSETA.
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