Today is International Literacy Day and we want to discuss how to address literacy through sponsored learnerships. International Literacy Day was declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 17 November 1965. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies. According to UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report on Education for All (2006), sub-Saharan Africa has the second lowest adult literacy rate at 59,7%. The report also shows a clear connection between illiteracy and poverty, and between illiteracy and prejudice against women. Statistics gathered by our research and development team shows that the average English literacy level of adults in South Africa are equal to that of grade 2 or 3; a large portion which is made up of young adults who passed Grade 12 in recent years. This could be due to several factors that include home language tuition rather than English, poorly qualified teachers, and a lack of teaching resources. The lack of foundational training Unfortunately, this lack of foundational training for children has led to businesses in South Africa having to take responsibility for adult basic education and training. This is partly the reason why the skills development element of the BEE scorecard had been declared a priority element. At Triple E Training, we have been dedicating our time to develop foundational training material for adults since 1991. We believe that if businesses work together, we can change the lives of people in South Africa. That’s where our motto ‘Changing Lives Together’ comes from. Because of the link between illiteracy and poverty, we advocate community skills development programmes for unemployed and disabled adults. How can your business get involved? Get involved through a sponsored learnership A sponsored learnership is free community training for unemployed and disabled adults that is sponsored by your company. This form of training is an outsourced skills development programme that takes place off-site, and is entirely facilitated by our team. The benefit of a sponsored learnership is that your business will be able to comply with the BBBEE compliance factors under skills development without having to train its own employees. A disability-focused learnership can also boost your BEE Scorecard by more than 12 points. Our Business Practice qualification (NQF 1), which falls under Category C of the learning programme matrix, is the ideal solution for companies who would like to contribute to the state of unemployment for persons with disabilities. Business Practice is a full qualification that includes modules such as Life Sciences, Ethics and Life Orientation, Instruction and Planning, Technology, Economic and Management Sciences, and Entrepreneurship. The entry requirements for the NQF 1 Business Practice qualification is our ABET modules Communication in English as well as Mathematics (Numeracy) on ABET Level 3. How does our sponsored learnership work? We recruit the correct number of unemployed, and/or disabled individuals, on your behalf. When looking at a typical 3-year plan we often start the learner on basic literacy training for two years, advancing them to the Business Practice NQF 1 learnership in the final year. Often, this leads to employment at entry-level, driving transformation from the bottom up. Sponsored learnership: a success story There are many success stories linked to sponsored learnerhisps, but one stands out: a young man who lost both his legs after an accident while still in school. Because of his disability, he was never able to complete high school. We recruited him for a client’s 3-year skills development programme which started with basic literacy training. After two years, he could advance to the learnership. His positive attitude towards the training, and his persistence to achieve success, resulted not only in full-time employment but also in his new employer (our client) sponsoring prosthetics that enabled him to walk again! Join us in our quest to change South Africa one learner at a time! Call 010 597 7611 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out how you can help changing lives.