Skills College has developed a bespoke structured career programme for people with disabilities that can guide them to meaningful employment opportunities at supervisory level in companies while earning a basic income or stipend. Companies that participate in these programmes can earn disproportionate benefit in terms of their BEE Compliance while maximising the favourable tax rebates and incentives.
One of the most marginalised groups in our population has always been people with disabilities in our poorest black communities. In their Community Survey 2016, Statistics South Africa reports a prevalence of disabilities or some form of impairment to affect between 2.4 and 3.4 % of economically active youth.
In spite of the incentives available to employers, black people and especially African people with disabilities still have a steep challenge. The 2017 CEE Report records that less than 0.6% of jobs in the unskilled, semiskilled and technically skilled categories are filled by African people with disabilities. Only about a third of this is made up of women. Not all of the people included in this wider definition fall within the definition in the Amended B-BBEE Codes, as it includes people with visual impairment that only require the use of glasses.
THE CAREER ACTIVATION PROGRAMME
The Skills College Activation Program for People with Disabilities offers our learners a Career Path, not just training. The objective is to retain a learner on the programmes until such time as they can find gainful employment. A learner can leave the programme at any stage or continue until the attainment of the NQF4 supervisory or junior management level qualification.
The programme is designed to have a soft start. All prospective learners start with a foundation year on a Business Administration Learnership at NQF Level 2. This allows people to get into a productive mode of learning while working towards a real qualification. Learners that pass through that process successfully, even learners that had some degree of difficulty, are then registered on a Wholesale and Retail Operations Learnership also at NQF 2. This is designed to broaden their understanding of business and to open them to the opportunities in the wholesale and retail sectors.
After the first year, the Learner is offered one of two Career Paths. The Learner, with support of the staff will decide if they would prefer to advance in a general administrative management direction or continue in the wholesale and retail operations.
The general administrative management continues the learning with a Business Administration Learnership at NQF3 and a General Management Learnership at NQF4. These Learners would now be able to seek employment in a typical office or administrative environment. Learners that select the Wholesale and Retail direction continue their learning journey up to achieving a Wholesale & Retail Supervision Learnership at NQF Level 4. This should open one of the many opportunities in this industry.