July 2014 represented a significant step towards further effective training and development on the Westonaria Borwa Development, with the first formal Life Skills Training courses being given to labourers working on the Project. Labourers enthusiastically attended the training, which took place at the library in Bekkersdal.
The training was initiated as part of the Developer’s commitment to improving and empowering the lives of those labourers working on the Project, who are from the local communities within the surrounding areas. The formal training forms part of the broader project training and development strategy, together with more significant on-site/ informal training. Plans are underway to increase the scope of formal training going forward.
A comprehensive training pack in excess of 100 pages was provided to each trainee by the accredited training provider, Skillsplus Solutions, in addition to detailed lectures, workshopping and interaction between trainees and the facilitator. At the end of the course, each labourer received a certificate, providing them with formal recognition of the skills obtained.
Life Skills Training provides labourers with a positive mindset and outlook to life and work situations, and provides them with a number of skills, approaches and insights to both working and everyday situations, including aspects such as time management, numerical skills, working effectively with others, personal finances, HIV related training, business concepts and other skills. Together with the practical training labourers receive whilst participating in actual construction work on site, such training can also serve as a springboard and enhance labourer’s opportunities of finding permanent employment and improving their quality of life.
Phase 2 of the Westonaria Borwa Development recently commenced, and further construction phases will be implemented in future as the Project progresses. A strategy to attract assistance from the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements (GDoHS) to implement principles of EPWP on the Development / Project is being formalised. Should this approach be successfully implemented, increased opportunities and training for labourers and SMME’s will be available on the Project. Training is envisaged to include Life Skills, Technical and other relevant EPWP related training, and will further demonstrate the Project’s positive contribution to empowerment and job creation in the Westonaria district.