Whilst South Africa’s national unemployment rate hovers at the 26% mark, the youth unemployment rate for those who fall in the 15- to 34-year age bracket is an alarming 38%. The South African National Development Plan identifies youth unemployment as one of nine key challenges impacting the country’s future.
Skills and enterprise development have been identified as critical to break the cycle of poverty, and to prepare young people for career and entrepreneurial opportunities. A collaborative effort that involves government departments at all levels, public and private organisations, as well as skills development role players, is essential in addressing the youth unemployment crisis.
Afrika Tikkun Services Pty Limited (ATS) and Belron Canada have joined forces with the PG Group to train young people to become qualified glass installers. This programme aims to transform South Africa’s construction industry by providing critical skills for youth development and potential job creation opportunities, along the flat-glass manufacturing value chain. The curriculum is guided by the Construction Regulations Act and students are managed by the PG SmartGlass Academy facilitator.
The initiative was started by the PG Group in 2017, with a group of 20 students who have all successfully completed the training and each of them going on to becoming permanently employed. A delegation from Belron Canada, whilst in South Africa for the Belron World Conference, was able to witness the graduation of nine students from the “Class of 2018”, who completed their training in February 2019. The nine graduates have been employed permanently.
What does this course entail?
The PG Group explains that the course involves an initial six to eight weeks of theoretical training at the PG SmartGlass Academy in Midrand, which includes among other topics, courses on health and safety, first aid, firefighting and working at heights, understanding business, customer service, construction regulations and workplace professionalism.
The practical component of the course includes handling small hand tools, putty glazing, glass cutting and snapping, and the installation of pre-assembled aluminium windows, patio doors, stack doors, framed and frameless showers and shower doors, all supplied by PG Primador®.
Trainees are allocated to “customers” or “host companies”, where they begin the vigorous task of applying their skills in a real working environment. During this development phase and at the end of the programme, they undergo a summative assessment, where both the foundation and technical phases are assessed, and successful trainees qualify as installers.
“The collaboration that ATS has with Belron Canada and the PG Group assists us in realising our mission of empowering young people in this country with training, skills and knowledge that will see young people becoming productive citizens and fulfilling their potential,” concludes Onyi Nwaneri, group executive of strategic partnerships and marketing at Afrika Tikkun.
Who is Afrika Tikkun Services?
ATS aims to transform the lives of South African young people and prepare them for participating constructively in the country’s economy. It achieves this by striving to develop an entry to mid-level workforce with the empowerment of young job seekers. Through its Work Experience Programme, learnerships, internships and entry level placements, the company provides a vital range of solutions in its skills development and job creation toolkit. Working closely with companies, it can craft bespoke B-BBEE solutions perfectly suited to its requirements.
Acknowledgement and thanks go to Afrika Tikkun Services for the information contained in this article.
PG Group, Afrika Tikkun and Belron Canada representatives with graduates from the PG Smartglass Academy (2)
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