FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 March 2020
Garden Route Skills Summit cancelled due to growing concerns over COVID-19 VIRUS
George – 15 March 2020. After carefull consultation between the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Cllr Memory Booysen and GRDM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, a decision has been made to cancel the Garden Route Skills Summit which was planned for 19-20 March 2020 in Knysna.
“Following an increase of the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa and in particular, the Western Cape, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global pandemic. We are disappointed that we are unable to hold such a Summit that was geared towards economic growth and skills development, but we know it is the right decision based on the information we have today,” said Monde Stratu, GRDM Municipal Manager.
GRDM will continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve. As a result, the District municipality is now directing that all its employees also stop traveling with immediate effect. This, however, does not include our Roads Services employees who travel while servicing Provincial Roads.
We are inviting businesses from the Garden Route District to register for the upcoming Garden Route Skills Summit. Please note that space is limited. Also note that registrations close on Monday, 9 March 2020 at 14:00.
From left to right, are: Mr Stratu (GRDM: Municipal Manager), Mr Lumka, Ms Naidoo (GRDM: HR Practitioner: Training), Cllr De Vries and Mr Loliwe (GRDM: Strategic Manager).
Discussions revolved around the upcoming Garden Route District Municipality Skills Summit which will take place in Knysna on 19 and 20 March 2020 and how the DHET and SETA can add to the success of the outcomes of the summit. Added to this, outcomes in terms of the implementation of learnerships, skills programmes and multiple access routes onto A21 Apprenticeships, were also discussed.
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with the B-municipalities in the district and the Western Cape Provincial Government, will be hosting its annual District Skills Summit on 19 and 20 March 2020 in Knysna (as per the 2019 Summit Resolutions). The overarching objective of the summit is: “Bridging the skills gaps in order to position the district towards investment and economic development opportunities” with the following added – “while gearing all sectors to make the most of the fourth industrial revolution”. The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. Advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril.
According to the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen, “Progress is only possible through collaboration across all stakeholders with the Business community leading, supported by all spheres of Government, Organised Labour, the Community sector as well as the LGSETA and other SETA’s and the National Skills Fund. International best practice shows where employers are willing leaders and other stakeholders willing partners, success is achieved in the overall planning and implementation phases of skills development projects. All these progressive ventures take place under the ‘umbrella’ of the Skills Mecca concept for the region.”
This year’s summit follows a resolution taken at the 2018 Garden Route District Skills Summit held on 01 February 2018 in George, during which it was resolved to take the concept of a Garden Route Skills Mecca forward and review progress on an annual basis. The idea of a Skills Mecca originates from the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative (GRRI), which followed the devastating fires that hit the district (Knysna/Plettenberg Bay) in June 2017. Since last year’s summit, municipalities in the district, in collaboration with various stakeholders, among others, the local Business Chambers and Provincial Government, progressively worked together in order to bring about and implement the Garden Route Skills Mecca concept.
The 2020 Skills Summit will focus mainly on the achievements of the previous year’s implementation of the summit resolutions. The “show and tell” (presentation/competition) will give municipalities an opportunity to showcase a project that was implemented within their respective municipal areas. The 2020 Skills Summit will also be focused on how to accelerate the district-wide Skills Mecca, and also to evaluate the resolutions determined in 2019 towards making the Garden Route a preferred pristine destination for learning in the country and continent.
Other role-players involved are:
Garden Route Business Chambers
District Municipal Managers
Corporate Services Managers
Skills Development Facilitator
Various government departments
Western Cape Government
The following resolutions were taken during the 2019 Skills Summit:
Continue and accelerate collaboration and cooperation among all District skills development role players.
Ensure that the Skills Development leverages digital infrastructure as far as possible to ensure learning and processes methods are and remain cutting edge.
As far as possible link Skills Development to Investment and Economic Development opportunities to the advancement for all.
Ensure that all Skills Development processes in the Garden Route ALWAYS proactively considers renewable energy.
Engage with all willing partners, in particular the SETAs and the National Skills Fund, to explore the development and implementation of projects across the District.
Consider and leverage local skilled people, including retired people, within the District, to accelerate the growth of the Skills Mecca.
All public and / or private skills development projects and/or programmes in all municipalities are acknowledged, recorded on Skills Mecca on line solution and supported within resource limitations.
Progressively support the development of the new apprenticeship of 21st Century (A21) in the District
Budget, plan and implement an annual Skills Summit that is held in a different local municipality rotationally and alphabetically….2020 – Knysna – proposed on 5 March 2020.
Municipalities are expected to prepare and present a case study of an actual skills development project implemented within their municipality at this year’s Summit. A ten minute presentation will form part of a competition to determine the annual Garden Route Skills Mecca Champion for 2020. Presentations will be evaluated by the delegates on the day of the event through a simple ballot system. Each case study will be judged against three criteria:
Did the partnerships in the project add value? – Yes or No?
Did the project support transformation in a creative way? – Yes or No?
Did the project make learners more employable? – Yes or No?
The envisaged outcome of the Summit is to ‘’fine-tune” the resolutions from 2019 and develop ideas on how to accelerate implementation of the Skills Mecca in the Garden Route. The Skills Summit will be an annual event on a rotational basis; municipalities therefore also need to budget and plan towards this purpose. The 2019 Skills Summit attracted approximately 180 people in Stilbay, while arrangements are in place to accommodate 200 – 250 people this year.
For more information contact the GRDM’s Training and Development Section, Mr Reginald Salmons at 044 803 1363.
Friday, 31 January 2020, marked another prestigious highlight for representatives of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Francois Ferreira School of Culinary Art, when they witnessed the graduation of seventeen (17) Cater Care students from the Garden Route, in the presence of their parents. The ceremony took place at the Francois Ferreira Academy, which is located at the Mount View Resort in George.
The purpose of this collaborative programme between GRDM and the Francois Ferreira Academy is to address the high rate of unemployment within the Garden Route district through the Cater Care Training programme. The course commenced on 4 September 2019 and concluded on 29 November 2019. During this period, the programme required all students to attend classes from Mondays to Thursdays from 8:30 to 15:00. It was expected from each student to attend class in uniform supplied to them while in training at a wing of the academy which is based in Oubaai, George.
“Take your eagle wings and fly”
During her keynote address at the event, Executive Deputy Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, said: “A total of R350 000 was funded by the GRDM to train previously disadvantaged individuals in the Cater Care Programme with the intent to equip people to access jobs in the local Hospitality industry and Tourism sector”. She furthermore shared a motivational message with students and referred to the story of the eagle that was raised by a chicken and explained: “The chicken found a lost egg not knowing where it came from and then brooded the egg to become like a chicken”. With these words Cllr Ruiters encouraged all students: “Take your eagle wings and fly – do not become a chicken”.
At the event, it became evident, that this journey was not only for students to be awarded with another certificate, but it served as proof of their overall passion and enthusiasm for the industry. This became known when two former students, Jackson Lencoe and David Griffins, shared their personal stories with the audience. Lencoe encouraged the students with the words: “If you want something, you have to be relentless and creative.” He furthermore shared words of appreciation to the Academy and GRDM who helped him discover the chef in him. David Griffins furthermore said: “I appreciate the opportunity provided to me” and shared these words with the students: “When I entered the academy, I knew nothing about being a chef, but with positive attitude and determination, everything else will follow; I learned, practised and never gave up,” he concluded.
Adding to the words of Cllr Ruiters and the former students, the Head of the Academy, Mr Francois Ferreira, applauded all members of the team for their sheer commitment and congratulated them with the following words: “All of you worked very well throughout the course. We could see it in your theory and practical marks, with the lowest class percentage of 67% and the highest at 91%. Very well done”, he cheered. Mr Ferreira also sensitised all students and said that now becomes the harder part of finding permanent employment. To all who are not employed, he said: “Search for opportunities who fits your skills set and to students who are already employed, he said: “Look after your jobs as it is so skaars soos hoendertande”. He concluded: “You must have the right attitude and the right work ethic. Work hard at creating your career with the opportunity provided to you by Garden Route District Municipality”.
The ceremony concluded when Mr Ferreira extended a word of gratitude to the representatives of GRDM when he said: “Thank you for taking hands with us to improve the lives of our youth in the Garden Route”.
Application for our Matric First Work Experience PAY Internship Opportunities 2020/2021 opens 6 January and closes 17 January 2020. The programme will provide matriculants between the ages of 17 – 24 with work experience and training within one of the 13 Western Cape Government Departments beginning 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021.
Applications are invited from students who are currently studying at tertiary or TVET institutions, as well as learners who are currently in Grade 12, or have passed Grade 12, for financial assistance towards further studies for the 2020 academic year. The award is restricted to full-time studies and attendance at SAQA accredited Tertiary or TVET institutions and is ONLY eligible to students whose parents permanently reside within the Garden Route municipal area.
Application forms are available at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and satellite offices of GRDM, during normal office hours (Monday – Thursday 07:30 – 16:30 and Friday 07:30 – 13:30). Application forms are also available on the GRDM’s website at www.gardenroute.gov.za.
GRDM WILL ONLY CONSIDER APPLICATIONS COMPLETED IN FULL, AND IF THE DOCUMENTS MENTIONED BELOW, AS AND WHERE APPLICABLE, HAVE BEEN INCLUDED.
A detailed curriculum vitae and covering letter, application form and certified copies of the following documentation must be attached: Latest or Grade 12 results or equal qualification; latest examination results of students currently enrolled at tertiary institutions; certified copy of ID; Affidavit of parents` combined income; proof of residential address (municipal account).
Please forward the application form and all documents to: Records, Garden Route District Municipality, PO Box 12, George 6530, for attention: Training and Development Section.
For any enquiries, do not hesitate to contact Mr Reginald Salmons at 044-803 1363, Ms Angeline Naidoo at 044-803 1420 or Mrs Angela-Ziva Coetzee, at 044 803 1344 during office hours (7:30 – 16:30 Monday to Thursday and 7:30 – 13:30 Friday).
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Should candidates not be contacted within two months after the closing date, they must consider their application as unsuccessful.
Garden Route District Municipality (Garden Route DM), in collaboration with Hessequa Municipality, hosted its second Garden Route Skills Summit in Stillbay on 7 February 2019. This annual event is hosted to review the progress made in terms of establishing the Garden Route as a Skills Mecca. More than 100 delegates from the public and private sectors came together to discuss and plan the next phase of the Skills Mecca initiative.
The first Skills Summit was held in George during February 2018 with the aim of stimulating debate around training and skills development for the Garden Route District and the seven Local Municipalities within its jurisdiction. The idea was and continues to be to attract students to relocate and study in the Garden Route, which will provide an economic injection for the Garden Route.
Mr Solly Fourie, manager of the Western Cape Government’s economic development and tourism department, explained the importance of partnerships between various training institutions. He also said: “The Western Cape Government believes that there is a need to move towards a situation where large-scale industrial development in rural towns should be incentivized – we need municipalities to assist us in this process”. From this “move” it is evident that more jobs will be created, which will be aligned to skills needs.
Councilor Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of Garden Route DM, who was also the keynote speaker, indicated that Garden Route DM identified a property where a three million rand skills centre will be built. “The first phase will focus on skills required by a district municipality, including firefighting, disaster management and law enforcement, to name a few. Other municipalities will also, on a later stage, be asked to share their skills shortages with us to include in the training institution,” said Cllr Booysen. He reminded government representatives not to “be in competition with other municipalities in our region – this is not conducive of growing the district into the country’s leading skills mecca.”
Cllr Booysen also vowed to move the District away from “red-tape and move towards red carpets when it comes to skills development.”
Later during the programme, group discussions were facilitated by a number experts in the fields of: agriculture and processing (Clyde Lamberts); tourism and film industry (Rushka Eli); Oil and gas (Paul Hoffman); smart cities and technology (Gill Cullinan); timber industry (Karl-Heinz Niemand) and training and development (Elsie Potgieter).
A ‘show and tell’ session also took place where four municipalities were given the opportunity to showcase a project that was implemented within their municipal area. Garden Route DM presented their Cater Care Project, Hessequa presented a people-centred project, Bitou a lifesavers training initiative and Knysna a rapid-response programme for the environment. Cheri-Lynn Speelman (Lecturer: Francois Ferreira Academy) and Yonela Khweleta (Intern: Francois Ferreira Academy), former students of the Cater Care training programme, which is financially spearheaded by Garden Route District Municipality and presented by the Francois Ferreira Academy, formed part of the winning team. Garden Route District Municipality’s Cater Care Programme was identified by delegates as the most successful out of all initiatives presented.
Dr Florus Prinsloo from the Western Cape Government’s department of economic development and tourism reviewed 2018’s resolutions and adjusted it based on feedback from the group discussions and other participating members.
The 2019/2020 resolutions announced at the Garden Route Skills Summit are:
Continue and accelerate collaboration and cooperation
among all District skills development role players.
Ensure that skills development leverages digital infrastructure as far
as possible to ensure learning and processes methods are and remain of a
cutting edge nature.
As far as possible, link skills development to investment and economic
development opportunities to the advancement for all.
Ensure that all skills development processes in the Garden Route always
proactively considers renewable energy.
Engage with all willing partners, in particular, the SETAs and the
National Skills Fund, to explore the development and implementation of projects
across the district.
Consider and leverage local skilled people, including retired people,
within the district, to accelerate the growth of the Skills Mecca.
All public and/or private skills development projects and/or programmes
in all municipalities are acknowledged, recorded on Skills Mecca online
solution and supported within resource limitations.
Progressively support the development of the new apprenticeship of 21st
Century (A21) in the district.
Budget, plan and implement an annual Skills Summit that is held in a
different local municipality rotationally and alphabetically….2020 – Knysna –
proposed on 5 March 2020.