Media Release: Regional Skills Development Forum focuses on Training Initiatives and Grant Applications
For Immediate Release
7 November 2023
A Regional Skills Development Forum convened on 2-3 November 2023, bringing together all Skills Development Facilitators (SDF) from the Garden Route and Central Karoo District Municipal areas. This quarterly engagement serves as a platform for SDFs to discuss and strategise various training initiatives within these two districts.
One (1) of the key highlights of the forum was a discussion revolving around discretionary grant applications for municipalities. Ms. Aneeka Jacobs, the Provincial Manager of LGSETA (Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority), provided valuable insights into the application process for discretionary grants. It was emphasised that the deadline for the submission of Discretionary Grant Applications is Wednesday, 8 November 2023.
In addition to grant applications, the forum also featured the participation of the Garden Route Skills Mecca Technicians and Coordinator, Dr. Florus Prinsloo. He facilitated a workshop on the evolving SETA landscape and the processes of the Quality Council on Trades and Occupational (QCTO). This insightful discussion shed light on the changing dynamics of skills development and education in the region.
The Regional Skills Development Forum continues to play a vital role in promoting skills development and education within the Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts. By fostering collaboration and sharing best practices, SDFs and their partners are working towards enhancing the workforce’s skills and employability, ultimately contributing to the region’s economic growth and prosperity.
Featured image caption: A group of skills development facilitators from municipalities in the Garden Route District and the Central Karoo District.
Media Release: Skills training history made in the Garden Route
For Immediate Release 16 October 2023
The first ever Renewable Energy Workshop Assistant programme in South Africa has been completed with learners at the Africa Skills Private College in George. This historic skills training program for 40 learners was financially supported by Energy and Water SETA through the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Skills Mecca programme.
After two months of dedicated theory and workshop training the recipients are now ready to start their workplace learning at host company workplaces in George where they will gain workplace experience and the application of what they’ve learnt in the identification, selection and care for hand and power tools in the Renewable Energy industry, as well as health, safety and environmental requirements.
At the Achievement Ceremony Elsie Harmse, CEO of UXi Artisan Development said that local expansion in this field is opening job opportunities for recipients with “the right attitude and a willingness to be diligent and dedicated to hard work.”
“As skills training institutes, we can change many lives, but it fully depends on the needs of the economy for specific skills. Africa Skills, within our group has been the first institution ever receiving accreditation to offer this highly demanded skills qualification,” Harmse said.
Keynote speaker, Dr Florus Prinsloo, Coordinator of the Garden Route Skills Mecca said learning must take place in an environment where there is economic growth. ” We are fortunate in the Garden Route that all our municipalities and many stakeholders support learning and the economy is still showing growth. “
He reiterated that learning and training must always be linked to economic development, “and for you as Renewable Energy workers it is important to note that new solar businesses are being considered all over the Garden Route including a proposal to build a solar farm next to the François Ferreira Academy on Airport Road, George.”
Dr Prinsloo encouraged the successful learners to consider starting their small businesses as entrepreneurs. He welcomed the initiatives taken to support training and the possibility of becoming business owners through dedication and focus.
Vanessa Taylor a National Business Institute (NBI) advisor encouraged them to keep entrepreneurial opportunities in mind. “We are looking for people within your group who are excited about the development of their own small businesses and have the potential to start small and grow a sustainable shop or business in this area.”
Dr Prinsloo added: “We have already started targeting 30 existing small businesses in the Garden Route and will help them to grow and become successful. Remember, as they grow bigger, they can again provide jobs and grow the economy of George, the Garden Route and nationally.”
To ease their entry into the world of work, Hardu Els from Outeniqua Solar told the recipients that “the way in which you present yourself to a potential employer holds the key to employment in the industry. Your dedication and commitment will be recognized as this is very important. Make yourself an asset to the company.”
Dr Prinsloo acknowledged every recipient as a winner and encouraged them to never stop learning in their industry of choice. He shared Albert Einstein’s wisdom: “The day you stop learning is the day you start dying. So, it is important that you continue learning, be it in classrooms, browsing the internet, reading books or around a ‘braai’ where you learn things which you learn nowhere else.
Featured image caption: Learners off to workplaces to gain work-integrated experience.
Media Release: Plans for Skills Centres in Knynsa and George progressing
For Immediate Release
13 September 2023
At the recent Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) highly successful Skills Mecca Skills Summit held on 13 July 2023 in Knysna, an innovative item on the programme allowed external stakeholders to present ideas on how to improve socio-economic circumstances for the unemployed, especially the youth, in their communities. Two such proposals focused on skills centres in Knysna and George, although all local municipalities in the Graden Route expressed similar needs.
In Knysna two more meetings were held and with excellent collaborative leadership from the Knysna Business Chamber, the Knysna Municipality and the South Cape TVET College, the process is well underway. At least two very suitable sites with existing buildings that could easily be converted into classrooms and workshops could be home to skills centres. A formal process has now started for the stakeholders to move towards long-term agreements subject to approvals from the various governance structures.
In George a similar positive approach was adopted with significant collaborative leadership between the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), the George Municipality, Mr Michiel Burger , the Bonnievale 418 Trust and Jakes Gerwel Teknies Skool in Bonnievale, considered the model collaborative school in South Africa. A highlight was a site visit to the Jakes Gerwel School on Tuesday 12 September 2023, by the various role players. This process will now be led into a task team, co-led by the George Municipality and WCED to also move towards more formal processes.
The excellent leadership at local and district municipal level and the cooperation-collaboration from other stakeholders are proving to be a significant force in moving these process forward. These initiatives are set to benefit the unemployed and youth in general. The Garden Route Skills Mecca team will continue to support both processes administratively and where necessary, explore extending partnerships to support these two processes.
Feature image caption: Home-based care practitioners with Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu (front) and other municipal representatives at the Garden Route Skills Summit.
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: CLOTHING MANUFACTURING PROCESSES NQF LEVEL 1
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in partnership with the Haggai 2v8 Company, are offering an opportunity to 30 unemployed youth (18-35) who wishes to participate in the Skills programme for a period of 6-months.
Minimum requirements include Communication and Numeracy at ABET level 3.
Media Release: Skills Mecca gets another strategic partner on board
For Immediate Release 29 August 2023
The socio-economic programme of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), known as the Garden Route Skills Mecca, through its partnerships at local, district, metro, provincial, national, sectoral, and international levels, supports skills development.
On Friday, 25 August 2023 the Garden Route District Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, Heads of Departments from Planning and Economic Development, Lusanda Menze and Corporate Services, Trix Holtzhausen as well as the Skills Mecca team and their partners, the South Cape TVET College and Africa Skills Village, met with a new emerging national partner, the National Business Initiative (NBI).
The NBI as it is known, is a voluntary coalition of South African and multinational companies, working towards sustainable growth and development in South Africa and the shaping of a sustainable future through responsible business action, thereby demonstrating business action for sustainable growth.
One of their many programmes includes the Installation, Repair, and Maintenance (IRM) Initiative which has already been successfully implemented in other parts of the country and has now arrived to support the Garden Route Skills Mecca.
Initially, the partnership will focus on the rollout of numerous renewable energy interventions, but progressively the partnership will start to build a local Garden Route ecosystem of sustainable small job creation processes in all the strategic focus areas of the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy.
This new partnership is a direct outcome of the recent highly successful third Garden Route Skills Summit held in Knysna on 13 July 2023.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality Grows the Capacity of Skills Mecca Programme
For Immediate Release 18 August 2023
The Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM), which forms part of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), aspires to increase employability of youth. The GRSM has 11 young people known as GRSM Technicians who drive the implementation of skills development projects and programmes at a grass route-level across all seven municipal areas of the Garden Route.
On 15 August 2023, Technicians started their training in a Work-based Learning and development Practitioner programme. This programme, which will end on 28 September 2023, seeks to enhance their competencies as facilitators of stakeholder based processes. Further they will be equipped with the skills to ability to place young people at workplaces for work-based learning experience. Both these competencies are critical if the Garden Route is to ensure that young people are offered opportunities for work experience that is by far the best way to ultimately become employed.
Die Garden Route Skills Mecca program (GRSM), wat deel vorm van die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit (TDM), streef daarna om die indiensneembaarheid van jongmense in die distrik te verhoog. Die GRSM het 11 jongmense wat bekendstaan as GRSM Tegnikuste regoor die sewe Tuinroete munisipale areas. Hierdie jongmense is verantwoordelik vir die implementering van vaardigheidsontwikkelingsprojekte en programme op ‘n grondvlakfase.
Op Dinsdag 15 Augustus 2023, het Tegnikuste hul opleiding in ‘n Werkgebaseerde Leer- en Ontwikkelingpraktisyn Program begin. Hierdie program, wat op 28 September 2023 sal eindig, poog daarin om hul bevoegdhede as fasiliteerders van belanghebbende gebaseerde prosesse te verbeter. Verder sal hulle toegerus word met die nodige vaardighede om jongmense by werkplekke te plaas vir werkgebaseerde leerervaring. Beide hierdie vaardighede is van kritieke belang, indien die Tuinroete wil verseker dat jongmense in die streek geleenthede gebied word om werkservaring wat verreweg die beste manier is om uiteindelik in diens te kom, op te doen.
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: CLOTHING MANUFACTURING PROCESSES NQF LEVEL 1
Notice no: 109/2023
The Garden Route District Municipality in partnership with the Haggai 2v8 Company, offers an opportunity to 30 (thirty) unemployed young people who wish to participate in the Skills Programme for a period of 6 months.
Applications are invited from unemployed persons, with Communication and Numeracy at ABET level 3 as a minimum requirement, targeting candidates between the ages 18 – 35 years.
The applications should be submitted online by visiting the Garden Route District Municipality’s website at www.gardenroute.gov.za. The required documentation to be uploaded including a Curriculum Vitae (CV), certified copy of highest qualification, certified copy of an ID, proof of residence and bank statement that are less than 3 months old.
Failure to upload the required documents will result in the application not being considered. No faxed or e- mailed documents will be considered.
IMPORTANT NOTE: DISABLED PERSONS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.
Application process: Applications must be done online on the Garden Route District Municipality’s website at www.gardenroute.gov.za by creating an online profile. Follow the steps as indicated. All required documentation must be uploaded.
If applicants are not contacted by 30 September 2023, please consider the application as unsuccessful.
The Garden Route District Municipality reserves the right not to make or confirm an appointment.
Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca gaining momentum
For Immediate Release 18 July 2023
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) socio-economic programme known as the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) held its third Skills Summit and inaugural Career Festival in Knysna last week from 13 – 14 July 2023. The Garden Route Skills Summit was attended by more than 200 delegates, who included several high-profile partners that will greatly benefit the Garden Route.
The GRSM is grounded in its partnerships that allow the organisation or individuals to partner with the GRSM for future skills development programs and services.
The four (4) critical partners of the Garden Route Skills Mecca and beneficiaries of the GRSM, at the Skills Summit, included:
The Western Cape Education Department, in particular, the Eden and Central Karoo District.
The Western Cape Community Education and Training College
The Services Sector Education and Training Authority
The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism
Through these partnerships an ongoing development programme that now integrates the schooling system and the community college structures more strongly into the Skills Mecca can be embarked on. This is new and exciting ground for the Skills Mecca as the programme expands across the Garden Route region.
Alderman Memory Booysen, during his address at the Skills Summit said: “We are on the right trajectory.”
“We will achieve success if we stay focused-driven, while keeping our vision, short-term and medium-terms in mind as we move forward.”
The Skills Summit allowed for a review of the Skills Mecca process and at least three new proposed solutions emerged that will need to be taken further by the Skills Mecca team:
All learners in the Skills Mecca programme should be tracked and traced after their programmes to determine how many gain employment;
The 4 local municipalities that have not to date hosted a Skills Summit – Bitou, Mossel Bay, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn – will be asked to submit formal proposals for the next Skills Summit in 2025;
A formal high-level District Coordination Forum process will be embarked upon (involving Mayors and Municipal Managers) to bring more local private sector businesses and their respective chambers and associations into the Skills Mecca process.
A new and innovative feature of the Garden Route Skills Summit was the inclusion of presentations from external stakeholders linked to business chambers or learning / employment opportunities in the Garden Route who are in support of the Skills Mecca. Five (5) such presentations were made that included:
The Skills Mecca has grown and developed over the last few years but the Summit clearly indicated that the concept needs to be taken to the next level. To give direction to that process, the Executive Mayor of the District Municipality, Alderman Memory Booysen tabled with delegates a plan to take the Skills Mecca to the next level that included a new logo and branding, a “Skills Mecca” copyright as well as the first-ever proposed vision and mission for the Skills Mecca.
According to Dr Florus Prinsloo, the GRSM Coordinator, “the Summit delegates endorsed all these proposals and they will be taken to the GRDM Council before being officially launched in the near future”.
The last part of the summit was then dedicated to a discussion and “workathon”. This segment focused on the Provincial Growth for Jobs Strategy (G4J) with a special emphasis on Priority Focus Area 7 – Improved Access to Economic Opportunities and Employability. During the various breakaway sessions, each of the seven local municipalities and the District Municipality considered the various interventions proposed under ‘Focus of Priority Focus Area 7’. The idea was for each breakaway group to identify possible existing or new projects that could drive the implementation of that intervention, forward. This work will now be taken into the various Skills Indaba processes at each local municipality and at the District level to ensure on-the-ground implementation.
While the above constructive work was in progress at the Summit, in parallel over two-days, 800 school-going youth and members and unemployed members of Knysna and surrounds attended the inaugural Career Festival. At this event, SETAs and training providers offered the attendees opportunities for exploring further learning and development.
The Garden Route Skills Summit also served as an introductory event for the Premier Council on Skills (PCS) that was held the next day on 14th July 2023 . It was the first time for the PCS to be held in Knysna.
“We need all hands-on-deck to keep our municipalities in our province functional through continuous skills development. And we should be competitive among ourselves.” Memory Booysen, Garden Route District Mayor, told the PCS.
Feature image: GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu and the GRSM Coordinator and Dr Florus Prinsloo, with the team who ensured the Skills Summit, was a success.
The Summit further promises an opportunity for a few innovative proposals to be presented by stakeholders working with local municipalities on employment-based skills development projects, and give stakeholders the opportunity to debate on how they can take the Garden Route Skills Mecca to the next level of development.
Focus will also be given to the emerging Western Cape Provincial Growth for Jobs Strategy, Primary Focus area 7 – Improved Access to Economic Opportunities and Employability and how the Skills Mecca process can integrate the implementation of the strategy with the work already being done by the Skills Mecca. This will allow for the implementation of skills development projects that is aligned to the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy.
The deliberations at the Summit will also feed into discussions that will be take place the next day at the Premier Council on Skills at the same venue, the Knysna High School.
Careers Festival 13 – 14 July 2023 – Knysna High School Sports Ground
Hosted by the Western Cape Community Education and Training College (WCCETC), the festival aims to give over 2000 unemployed individuals and school-going youth the opportunity to engage with SETAs, as well as public and private training providers.
With many local schools in Knysna and surrounds bringing their learners, the WCCETC expects to attract 32 exhibitors that have various training and personal development programmes available to eligible applicants.
This initiative by the Garden Route District Municipality and its Garden Route Skills Mecca is funded by Services SETA and is an open-to-the-public-event taking place at the Knysna High School.
“Garden Route District Municipality, Your route to prosperity”
Media Release: GRDM awarded more than R5.2 million to train Garden Route unemployed youth as Home Based Care Personal Assistants
For Immediate Release 22 June 2023
GRDM was awarded more than R 5.2 million for training of 140 unemployed persons as Home Based Care Personal Assistants across the Garden Route district, including all seven (7) B-municipalities under the coordination of the Garden Route Skills Mecca Programme.
The programme commenced on 1 March 2023 and will end by 31 August 2023. Training takes place at various training venues across the Garden Route district where students are exposed to both theoretical training and work-based learning. As part of the programme, learners receive monthly stipends, and at the end of the programme, subject to successfully completing a final assessment, they will be issued with a certificate of completion.
The Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) aims to create an integrated approach to the development and provision of suitably skilled health and social development workers, to render quality services similar to world class standards. Their ultimate vision, therefore, is to create a skilled workforce for the health and social development needs of all South Africans.
Dineo Ramasesane, one of the twelve (12) Garden Route Skills Mecca Technicians who is based at the GRDM’s Economic Development Unit, currently provides project management assistance with the Programme’s monthly meetings and continuously gives feedback and updates to the GRDM.
All participants of the Training Programme are placed for practical experience at old age homes such as Groenkloof, Tuiniqua, Specare Old Age Home and others situated across the Garden Route district. Many of these young people that applied themselves to the learning process may be offered permanent work once the programme is completed since this an occupational programme that allows a person to earn while they learn and create a positive relationship with a possible future employer over a six month period.