Cash grants for Fasset learnerships

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"Transformation is a key priority within the Fasset sector,' says Fasset CEO, Cheryl James. This year, Fasset will again offer SMME and medium-sized employers a R25 000 PDI Learnership Grant for signing previously disadvantaged learners onto Fasset learnerships.

"For the purpose of the grant, PDI learners are deemed to be African, Indian and Coloured learners, or disabled learners. Disabled learners are learners who have a long-term or recurring physical or mental impairment that substantially limits their prospects of entry into or advancement in employment,' James explains.

Although the Seta has acquitted itself extremely well on the learnership front with more than 11 000 learners already signed onto learnerships (Fasset?s National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) target is 3000 learners by March 2005), much hard work still remains to be done.

"The number of learners signed onto Fasset learnerships is extremely gratifying, however, we need to urgently improve the representivity of these learners. Only 32% of our learners are currently from previously disadvantaged groups, and less than 1% of learners fall within the disabled category,' James reveals.

In the previous financial year, the Seta offered SMME employers a R25 000 PDI Learnership Grant. "Employers responded very positively, and there was definitely a concerted effort on the part of employers, to sign on more PDI learners,' she says. The success of this initiative in the past, prompted Fasset to make the PDI Learnership Grant available again in its fifth year of operation.

To qualify for the grant, the employer must have a staff complement of no more than 150 employees; the employer must be registered with Fasset; Skills Development Levy payments must be up to date; the employer must have registered at least one PDI on a Learnership; the Learnership Agreement must fall within the period 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005; the employer must have an approved Workplace Skills Plan for 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005.

"Employers who qualify for the grant, are urged to apply for the grant as a matter of urgency, as funds are available on a first-come-first-served basis,' James concludes.

Application forms for the R25 000 PDI Learnership Grant are available on Fasset?s website: www.fasset.org.za.

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