Employer body the National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) has partnered with labour union Solidarity to encourage employers to provide technical skills training for students studying at the Sol-Tech facilities.
Solidarity’s Guild for the Trades will provide training in technical skills for the industry through Sol-Tech and it will also offer continuing education and short courses, while Neasa will encourage its members to take in Sol-Tech students for practical work and provide permanent employment to them.
Neasa will also encourage its members to sponsor study aid for students who are in financial need, says Solidarity chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann.
All role players in the economy must focus on growth with a specific emphasis on young people and skills development, he adds.
“The agreement is historical in nature. It turns traditional trade unionism on its head. To negotiate training and job placements for members and their children is the most substantial benefit a trade union can offer its members.
"With a view to growth, employers and employees must join hands, especially during times of crisis. Skills acquisition is the best growth strategy that offers the largest return,” Hermann notes.
Solidarity plans to enter into similar agreements with other employers and employer groups.
"Of course, Solidarity will still be in conflict with employers about labour relations issues, but that should not neutralise partnerships for growth,” Hermann says.