South African social enterprise Afrika Tikkun Services (ATS) is determining the requirements for entry- and advanced-level training, as well as for staff upskilling, of Johannesburg-based pressed steel water tank manufacturer Branch Engineering.
ATS business development and marketing head Tracey Kotzen notes that assessing the training needs of Branch Engineering will assist in formulating a skills development plan intended to aid the company in meeting its training and employment equity targets.
She points out that the timeframe for identifying the training requirements of a business can take anywhere from half a day to six weeks, depending on several factors, including the size of the business, the industry in which a business operates and any pre- existing training plans.
“If a business has a growth strategy in place and understands what needs to be done to implement it, ATS will facilitate a workshop to craft a solution that determines the client’s training needs across various job levels, in alignment with the organisation’s objectives, outcomes and key performance indicators,” explains Kotzen.
She tells Engineering News that Branch Engineering, while knowledgeable about the previous black economic-empowerment (BEE) code requirements, has contracted ATS to deliver a skills development solution in line with the requirements of the new codes that came into law on May 1.
Kotzen highlights that execution of a well-developed training plan, which is consistent with the needs of the business, will bolster the credibility of an organisation by maintaining or improving a broad-based BEE rating and cementing relations with clients and service providers.
“Branch wants to improve its skills development programme for the correct reasons and not simply to tick BEE boxes. The company is intent on building skills for this industry and engaging in true social transformation,” she states, adding that an important consideration for Branch is the company’s ability and capacity to accommodate people with physical disabilities.
Meanwhile, in addition to developing a skills development programme for Branch Engineering, Kotzen points out that ATS works to identify and match secondary- school graduates to entry-level employment or learning opportunities.
The graduates are trained and placed in ATS’s career readiness programme, which aims to provide early career opportunities for employable youths under the banner of ATS affiliate non- profit-organisation Afrika Tikkun’s Cradle to Career model.
“The Cradle to Career model allows for the beneficiaries of Afrika Tikkun’s programmes to enter the economy armed with knowledge and skills pertaining to the world of work. “The ultimate goal for ATS is to provide individuals with an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty in partnership with companies, such as Branch Engineering, that wish to be a part of the solution for social transformation based on sustainable skills development,” Kotzen says.
She explains that, while ATS works to connect youth to the economy, Afrika Tikkun assists with age-appropriate social development for children primarily in underresourced communities.