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Meaningful transformation through learnership pipelines

- Wits University

Over 120 Wits staff members have completed the next level of their Learnership in Business Administration (NQF levels 2, 3 and 4).

Cindy Nkomo from Services and Excellent Radebe from Protection Services were two of the top achievers in the group that graduated recently.

On 19 August 2019, a graduation ceremony was held in the Senate Room for those Wits staff who had successfully completed their respective NQF level qualifications in the Business Administration pipeline.  

The learnership is aimed at Wits staff members who have not had the opportunity to complete their schooling, and who need assistance in moving upwards towards a matric equivalent (NQF level 4). The staff members came from the Services Department, the PIMD (Property, Infrastructure, Maintenance and Development) Department, and Protection Services.

The Wits Human Resource Development Unit (HRDU), procured nationally accredited training provider, Siyanqoba, to facilitate and manage the learnership pipeline. The learnership curriculum provides staff members with the key literacy, numeracy, and business administration competencies needed, to advance to the next level and expand individual potential. The group achieved an overall competency rate of 81% in the learnership qualification.

Cindy Nkomo, Excellent Radebe, Fana Sibanyoni,  Busi Nyemebe and Mark Vosloo

Staff were assessed on core components of the qualification such as, the management of records, business writing, problem solving, ethics, cultural awareness, self-management and self-development, project teamwork, and business policies and procedures.

In addition, they acquired knowledge in executive administration; financial literacy; relationship management; basic legal considerations; communication; project administration and support; call centre administration and human resources.

Excellent Radebe, a security officer from Protection Services who was one of the top performers in the NQF Level 2 grouping of the learnership programme said he he gained new knowledge and skill sets through the learnership.

“Some of us never had the opportunity to further our studies and to graduate - but today, with Wits HRDU and Siyanqoba, we got the opportunity. It is a great honour to me and also to be selected as a top achiever,” he said.

A top achiever in the NQF level 3 group, Cindy Nkomo from Services, hailed the learnership as enormously valuable in advancing their education.

“This course is helping us a lot, especially giving us a chance to be able to further our studies. As colleagues who work in different departments, we should not be afraid of the kind of jobs that we are doing. We should be ashamed of not grabbing the opportunities we have been provided with,” she said.

The primary aim of the learnership is to facilitate meaningful opportunities through which staff members can improve their formal education levels. This will allow staff members to move towards, and attain, their NQF level 4 qualification – thereby also opening up further opportunities at higher levels of the NQF, and allowing staff members to tap into the Wits Bursary Scheme.

Creating new knowledge and producing quality research and quality graduates, a core mandate of the University. The ongoing p development of professional and administrative staff members to advance the mission of the University is equally important andis a key enabler in building internal capacity and capability.  

The HRDU through its various learning and development initiatives has created opportunities for staff members to sharpen their skills and broaden their knowledgeon key University functions. One such initiative is the learnership pipeline, which rolls out year after year, drawing from a combination of both ETDP SETA funding, and SET funding. Fana Sibanyoni, Wits Chief Operation Officer said at the ceremony: “There are still too many staff members who have not been able to attain an NQF level 4 qualification or equivalent, and who find themselves stranded at lower NQF levels without bridging opportunities. These individuals will not be able to take advantage of the full spectrum of development opportunities, including the Wits bursary scheme, if we do not help them to move up the NQF levels.”

Sibanyoni emphasised that the development of staff is central to the success of the University and therefore their education and advancement should be promoted.

“Although the University is focused on the education and development of students as the future workforce of the country, the development of the staff complement as a means of competitive advantage and social address is also important,” he said.   

Dr Chantelle Murray, the Head of HRDU said at the graduation “HRDU strives to uphold and enable the motto – ‘be all that you can be’. It is important for staff to embrace the opportunities that are available to them”.

She urged staff members to believe in themselves and to continue learning. “When we believe in ourselves, when we tackle everything as an opportunity with both hands and we give the best that we have, we will inevitably climb the ladder and get closer to where we want to be in our lives. Learning is not only about book knowledge. Those days are long gone. We must learn and reflect and evolve every single day,” she said.