The value of learnerships is that they assist in creating jobs. As the SETA programmes have developed over the years, more hidden benefits in the triangular relationship between the employer, the project manager and the learner, have become apparent.
According to Aslam Galant, the Business Development & General Manager at the Cape Town branch of Isilumko Staffing (IS), there is however a pressing need to focus on assisting people with disabilities to enter learnership programmes and create jobs for them.
Galant says, “Thousands of people with disabilities in this country face daily challenges, including the daunting task of looking for jobs in the workplace. There are various categories of being disabled, with some not that extreme. By working closely with various NGOs and government bodies, IS has developed a keen understanding of the special requirements of the job creation process.
Galant adds that there are certain perceptions and a stereotyping tendency to assume that people with disabilities can or can’t do certain jobs because of their disabilities. He says that unless society becomes more aware of and willing to accommodate people with disabilities, particularly in terms of accessibility, increased employment for this sector will remain impractical.
“We have worked closely with client companies to assist in implementing clear strategies, designated functions with hands-on leadership, which helps to maintain a barrier-free environment. The aim is to give people with disabilities more confidence in their working environment. Companies need to be sensitive to certain issues in the workplace, such as providing reasonable accommodation. This can include any modification or adjustment to a job or to the working environment that will enable a person from a designated group, to have access to or participate in employment,” says Galant.