Raising the 1%: Upskilling Disabled South Africans and Unlocking Employment Opportunities
iLearn – a leading local learning solutions company – recently partnered with the vehicle tracking and recovery specialists, Altech Netstar, to create Learnership opportunities for the disabled community of South Africa. According to Statistics SA, there are roughly 2.9 million people living with disabilities in South Africa but only 1% currently have jobs. In light of Deaf Awareness Month, which is observed during the month of September, iLearn CEO Richard Rayne highlighted the importance of an intervention to boost employment levels for disabled citizens of South Africa.
“We need to do a lot more to strengthen our disabled workforce and aid career development but it’s a collective effort,” says Rayne. “A good place to start is with skills development through Learnership programmes. This ensures that an individual will be up-skilled in an area of significance and in-turn make a positive contribution to that industry and society as a whole.”
Over the course of the next twelve months, iLearn and Altech Netstar will be training learners with hearing loss to monitor video feeds – an integral element of the fleet management system belonging to one of the country’s largest bus operators. The team of learners will enter into a Business Administration NQF Level 3 Learnership programme where they will be trained on how to accurately monitor drivers and staff using on-board cameras, as well as report on daily activities. This process will inevitably strengthen the safety and security of drivers as well as the 350 000 commuters who use these transport systems daily.
According to Rhona Wolmarans, Executive of Human Resources at Altech Netstar, people with hearing loss often have “impeccable visual ability” due to the fact that individuals with sensory impairments tend to develop other heightened senses; this makes people who are hard of hearing a perfect fit for this job role. “We are thrilled about this collaboration and the contribution we are about to make to the disabled workforce in our country,” says Wolmarans.
One of the learners participating in the programme, Jenelle Ramsami, says that she is excited to experience the benefits of entering into this Learnership agreement and by doing so, improving her circumstances. Some of the advantages that Learnership courses can offer to students with disabilities, like Jenelle, include:
- A fixed-term employment contract and generous allowance for the duration of the programme.
- An opportunity to enter the job market and appeal to current and future employers
- A nationally recognised qualification
“For me, this learnership has brought with it independence through education and education is the most important part of anyone’s future. With this qualification, I want to send a message to everyone that you can do anything with the right mind-set and no one should make you feel inferior,” Ramsami says.
Learn more about iLearn’s Learnership courses today.