- P&T Technology (0.09 MB)
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The Peermont Education Trust, a youth upliftment initiative of Peermont Global Limited in partnership with P&T Technology, sponsors learnerships for previously disadvantaged youth in the Ekurhuleni area. Peermont Education Trust Manager Jenny Findley explains that the Trust has been working with P&T since 2005, where previously the Trust was working with public sector further education training colleges. “We run an annual programme where we fund up to 24 students a year to complete an electrical training learnership course, in order to qualify as electricians. All students gain practical experience at Emperors Palace, in Kempton Park, for nine months each year where they are exposure to the working environment in order to be prepared for what lies ahead in the working world. Prior to this, the students undergo three months of institutionalized practical and theoretical learning at the P&T Technology facility where they are taught the fundamental technical aspects of the trade,” explains Findley.
The criteria for candidates to be accepted into the programme are specific; Findley explains that students must be between the ages of 18 and 22, live in the Ekurhuleni area, have a household income of less than R 3000 per month and they need to have achieved a D aggregate in Maths and Science in their matric year, and must preferably be able to speak English. “Once this shortlist has been developed from the Trust, P&T Technology managing director Nick du Plessis and his administrators will establish the entrance requirements by undergoing a pre-entrance interview.” The electrical learnership NQF levels are funded one year at a time and should a student excel in the training, they are assessed and are funded again for the next NQF level sponsorship is up to 3 years. The Peermont Education Trust sponsors tools, work apparel – including safety boots, goggles and overalls – transport allowance for getting to and from the place of learning be it the training centre or the workplace, as well as a canteen card that provides one meal per day for each student.
Du Plessis notes that the trust, and P&T Technology’s involvement is focused on sponsoring these students to have a career and a better quality of life. In addition, the Trust facilitates a life skills programme as part of the mentorship and, during the course of an assessment day, administrators at Peermont will conduct various tests with the students to assess their ability to work in a group, their leadership potential and level of ethics. “P&T will be involved with this process, and Du Plessis is always available to advise students on what opportunities are available and how they can go about finding a job in the industry,” says Findley.
Women in the Workplace
Findley points out that gender equality plays a major role in the proceedings of the Trust. She says that they endeavor to select women for the programme but this still proves to be challenging; du Plessis adds that women have high motor coordination which is of great benefit in this field of work, however, the difficulties lie in finding female candidates with a math’s and science background, and the physical side of this working environment is challenging. “Working on a construction site is a challenge for most female electricians and most sites often don’t have provisions for females. The nature of the work is also physically demanding and can sometimes get quite dirty,” says Findley.
She also notes that the students who go through the programme have often grown up without a father to stand as a ‘technical role model’. “Even though these students are at a disadvantage, the partnership with P&T is advantageous since du Plessis is very involved with each student. When the facilitators discovers a gap such as this, they will spend a few extra hours showing them how to use the various tools and equipment.” The pass rate of the students that go through this full NQF programme is about 90% and each student is monitored for timing, attitude in the workplace and other aspects that stimulate and prepare them for the working environment.
“I believe that the programme functions so well because we not only teach the learners technical skills, but we also coach and train them to be prepared for what will be expected of them in the working world. They learn that timing is important and that arriving late is unacceptable, how to behave if something goes wrong and how to conduct themselves when on site,” du Plessis points out. “What we find to be important with these students - particularly considering the background that they come from - is that they feel that they are supported and they belong in this programme. It gives them hope for the future and equips them with vital skills for when they enter the working environment. We are proud to be associated with P&T Technology and we will continue to work closely together in order to provide skills to young people who need it most,” she concludes.