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News Desk | 18 August 2023

119 women with disabilities, from rural and semi-rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, will receive learnerships and employment opportunities as part of the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority’s Disability Learnership Programmes. HWSETA today launched two Disability Learnership Programmes at Uvongo Town Hall, in a month when we pay homage to women.

The women will undergo 12-month training programmes in either Early Childhood Development or clothing manufacturing to fully equip them to enter the formal economy. 90 women with disabilities will form part of an Early Childhood Development learnership programme, while 29 women and 21 men with disabilities will benefit from a clothing manufacturing learnership.

“We’re excited to be able to launch these programmes for some of society’s most marginalised women during Women’s Month. The programmes will see these women, and men, graduate with a national certificate in Early Childhood Development or clothing manufacturing which will open significant doors in the way of employment opportunities as creche teachers, tailors, co-operative members, and business owners,” explains HWSETA’s CEO Elaine Brass.

The women participating in the Early Childhood Development learnership programme are from areas such as Umlazi, Inanda and Edumbe. Once they complete the yearlong Early Childhood Development NQF level 4 Learnership Programme they will be qualified as pre-school teachers.

HWSETA’s training partner for this programme is the Environment and Language Education Trust (ELET). Director of ELET, Nareshini Ranganthan says: “Conceptualising and delivering programs like these meet the critically important goals of increasing disability awareness, helping to build a culture of inclusivity and creating the spaces for the disabled to realise their full potential.”

As part of HWSETA’s other Disability Learnership Programme, 29 women and 21 men from KwaMakhutha and surrounding communities on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast have recently started working towards a national certificate in clothing manufacturing NQF level 1.

The programme which is being rolled out by HWSETA’s training partner Future Discovery includes three months of theoretical training, covering topics like business and time management, followed by seven months of workshop-based practical training. Possible employment opportunities that are available after qualifying include creating cooperatives to manufacture school and church uniforms or taking up employment as a seamstress.

Brass concludes: “7.5% of people living in South Africa have reported living with a disability. Unfortunately, many people living with disabilities have been excluded from actively participating in the mainstream economy. HWSETA is committed to providing people with disabilities opportunities for learning. It’s our belief that equipping the learners with an accredited qualification and a range of soft skills will enable them to build meaningful careers and provide them with equal opportunities to contribute towards society.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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