South Africa is a big country. It is the ninth largest country in Africa. It is twice the size of France and three times the size of Germany. Despite South Africa’s considerable geographic size, the Finance and Accounting Services Seta (Fasset) has funded and offered Bridging Programmes in all nine provinces.
Fasset is particularly proud of the fact that Bridging Programmes are reaching learners in remote rural areas. The Fasset-funded Tshepong Programme, which was offered for the first time in 2015, is a case in point.
Delivered by Future Creation, the six-month programme was offered in Bethlehem and Qwa Qwa in the Free State. “Logistically speaking it would have been far easier to offer the programme in a major centre such as Bloemfontein. However, Fasset, together with its training providers, is determined to extend the rural reach of Bridging Programmes. We need to ensure that learners, residing in the smaller centres are not disadvantaged and that they are able to improve their skills levels and their employability, through their participation in Fasset-funded Bridging Programmes,” says Fasset CEO, Cheryl James.
The Tshepong Programme targeted unemployed graduates, residing in the Free State, who have completed a commerce degree or a diploma. “The programme equipped unemployed graduates with hard and soft skills which will give them the edge in the job market,” James explains.
The programme included an academic and a Bridging component. “Learners completed the National Certificate Generic Management, Pastel Partner Processing, and the Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate. They were also equipped with work readiness skills,” she reveals.
Fasset has always encouraged project beneficiaries to ‘pay forward’. Learners were able to do so, as they were required to run a project, which benefited a socio-economically challenged area, and which also, demonstrated their mastery of the skills and knowledge they had acquired.
One of the projects entitled the “Moonlight Project,” really impressed. Learners were not given any funding for their projects. Team members came up with an ingenious project, which met a real need in an impoverished community, and which dovetailed with Spec Savers national campaign, which provides children aged between 6 to 12 years with free eye tests and free prescription glasses. The team worked with teachers at Motshepuwa Public school and Bohlokong Primary school. Teachers identified learners, who may have a problem with their vision. Team members negotiated with Dihlabeng Hospital. The hospital agreed to test the children’s eyes and provide a prescription. Spec Savers supplied the lenses and frames. “This project really impressed. There was very clear evidence of team work, ‘paying forward,’ marketing, strategy and negotiation skills,” James observes.
The Tshepong Programme has been completed and graduates from the programme are available for placement. No placement fee is payable. “Graduates from this programme are a compelling employee proposition. They are all graduates and they are all work-ready. These learners are going to be snatched up very quickly,” James concludes.
Employers interested in employing a Tshepong graduate, can contact [email protected]