CHIETA, the chemical industries SETA, in partnership with Options in Personnel recruitment and development agency, has launched a Retrenched Workers Support Programme that is equipping retrenched workers to find formal employment or become entrepreneurs.
The launch was marked with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 1 December 2021 that outlines the terms, conditions, and expectations of the programme between the partners, and will benefit retrenched workers in the SA Chemical Workers Union (SACWU).
Yershen Pillay, CEO of CHIETA, says the programme entails wide-ranging training that will go further than skills development. “This programme will enable the workers to seek opportunities beyond their existing skillset; it will give them hope for the future and equip them to consider entrepreneurial initiatives or formal employment beyond what they were employed to do when they were retrenched.”
The comprehensive Retrenched Workers Support Programme is being presented by Options in Personnel and is running for four months from December 2021 through to March 2022. It entails several elements:
- Career counselling (2 days)
- An accredited NQF Level 2 qualification – ‘Identify and Demonstrate Entrepreneurial Ideas and Opportunities’ – which will be moderated by the Services SETA (2 days)
- The startUP&go entrepreneurship education programme (3 days)
- The GOAL2WORK job search programme (3 days)
The training is designed to empower people in their journey to meaningful re-employment or entrepreneurship. It will guide the workers through the stressful experience of losing a job, help them take a fresh new look at the job market, equip them to manage an effective job search, and to handle the transition to a new job.
In the career counselling sessions, the beneficiaries learn how to develop career plans, prepare CVs, and build their confidence. StartUP&go is an experiential entrepreneurship programme where participants engage in business-simulation games.
Pillay adds, “The programme beneficiaries are empowered to job search and start new jobs successfully. Alternatively, for those who are entrepreneurial, they learn how to identify opportunities, and how to cope with the challenges and procedures of entrepreneurship.”
The beneficiaries are developing business acumen, understanding business strategies, marketing, and compliance, and are being given tools to ensure the sustainability of their small businesses.
In addition, the programme is providing ongoing support throughout the period of the project with a job search e-learning programme, micro-learning videos that can be accessed 24/7 on cell phones, tablets or computers, as well as online support.
Workers who have been through the programme are enthusiastic about their new learnings and the opportunities they provide. Comments from the beneficiaries include:
- Goodwill Sibusiso Zondo, who says, “This programme has shown me what to expect in interviews and how to start my own business. My new aim for the future is to be a successful entrepreneur.”
- Busisiwe Noliqhwa Nkosi, who says, “The training has empowered me and given me skills to be employable. Looking into the future, my hope is to implement the entrepreneurial training I gained from the training and create more job opportunities.”
- Robertson Mkhwanazi, who says he learnt professional ways of job hunting, as well as available options for self-empowerment. “I now plan to get a job, earn a salary, and start a business in poultry farming.”
Pillay adds, “This programme represents a significant investment by CHIETA and will deliver an immersive experience that will lead to a more successful entrepreneurship or employment journey for the beneficiaries.”