FLC helps develop competent tradespeople

FLC or foundational learning competence is helping to develop skilled tradespeople.

Many individuals who are proficient in their jobs are unable to attain a formal qualification at a National Qualifications Framework level. This is because their English literacy and numeracy skills are not up to standard. Yet, there is a dire shortage of competent artisans in the country. In many instances, South Africa has had to import these skills for strategic infrastructure projects. A case in point are the many foreign welders who worked on our new power stations. Meanwhile, many South Africans are jobless or stuck in dead-end jobs that barely pay a living wage. This is fuelling growing inequality. FLC is providing many talented individuals an opportunity to acquire a qualification so that they can participate in the economy. This is at a time when the construction industry is preparing to embark on a large public sector works programme. Delivering quality projects on time and within budget is dependent upon a robust pipeline of technical skills.

FLC addresses acute skills shortage

FLC addresses the acute skills shortage in South Africa.

The Information Systems Coordination provides information on skills that are in high demand. This is in addition to how government intends tackling the problem. Some of the other skilled trades that are in short supply that are mentioned in this report include electricians, carpenters, bricklayers, plumbers and masons. Due to this shortage, there are many individuals working in these fields who are not qualified to do so. This has led to an increase in poor workmanship on building and civil-construction sites. Depending on the trade, poor quality workmanship can place lives at risk. Qualified plumbers and electricians, for example, have completed at least three years of theoretical and practical training. This is to safeguard consumers and the general public against poor installations. FLC provides a solution. This is by enabling talented individuals to acquire the correct skills and knowledge. Equipped with these, they will be able to add real value on worksites throughout the country.

FLC prepares employees for learning

FLC prepares employees for further learning. In this way, it differs from conventional adult English literacy and numeracy training. These English literacy and numeracy training solutions are designed to equip low skilled employees with functional literacy skills. This is an ability to apply English literacy and numeracy skills in all facets of life, including in the world of work. For this reason, functional literacy is also often referred to as “workplace literacy”.

Individuals need sound numeracy skills to understand technically complex content that is presented during the theoretical component of vocational training. Certainly, learners will also use their numeracy skills during the practical part of their instruction. For example, a professional carpenter will need to measure widths and lengths with fractions on worksites.

Many young and talented professional artisans also aspire to eventually start their own businesses once they have gained enough work experience. They will, therefore, also need to be able to accurately calculate the costs of materials and the time that they will be spend on specific jobs. This is so that they are able to correctly price their projects. FLC equips them with the numeracy skills that they need to run a successful small business in the future. Interestingly, government has identified artisanry as a basis upon which to develop more local small, medium and micro businesses. Entrepreneurship will provide many unemployed South Africans with a livelihood in an economy that has been shedding jobs. As these businesses grow, they will, in turn, absorb more jobless citizens.

FLC imparts English literacy skills

FLC imparts English literacy skills to your employees. English is the formal language of learning. Yet, many South Africans do not speak English as a home language. This is major stumbling block for many school learners, university students and individuals who want to learn a trade. FLC enhances and refines employees’ English literacy skills so that they can cope with the theoretical and practical components of their vocational training. They will also be able to write their trade tests in English after they have completed FLC. English literacy is also a skill that your employees will use throughout their careers as professional artisans.

FLC for effective communication

Employees who have completed the English literacy component of our FLC, are effective communicators. They will, thus, be able to convey information in a logical and orderly manner. The Foundational Communication aspect of their FLC training encompasses writing; speaking and listening; and visual literacy. It also covers language structure and use, as well as study skills.

Notably, this aspect of English literacy training centres around the specific trade that the learners will be studying. It, therefore, also considers particular workplace jargon to better prepare employees for occupational training. For example, an individual who will be enrolling for a bricklaying learnership, skills path or recognised short course will also be exposed to relevant terminology used in the field. Examples include “arris”, “buttering”, “chasing”, “header” and “jointing”. These are only a few typical terms that learners will encounter during FLC training.

FLC Mathematical Literacy

FLC Mathematical Literacy equips your employees with basic numeracy skills that they can develop and refine during their vocational training. Similar to the English literacy component of the training, the numeracy part of FLC centres around the trade that employees intend studying. A welder, for example, needs to understand fractions, decimals, geometry and formulas. In some instances, they may even have to be familiar with trigonometry.

After completing the Mathematical Literacy component of FLC, your employees will be able to solve problems in real contexts by responding to mathematical information in a variety of ways. They will be able to define a problem, analyse and understand it; and then plan how to solve it. Importantly, they can also execute their plan; interpret and evaluate the results; and justify the methods they used. They will, therefore, have an ability to analyse and understand information that is provided to them. Furthermore, they can identify or locate relevant information themselves to solve problems. This is in addition to their ability to order, sort, compare, count, estimate, compute, measure, model and interpret. Combined with their English literacy skills, they will also be able to effectively communicate mathematical information.

FLC’s numeracy training consists of number and quantity; finance; data and chance; measurement; space and shape; as well as patterns and relationships.

For more information on FLC, refer to Foundational Learning refers to the occupational pathways and skill development.

FLC step after ABET

FLC is the logical step after your employees have completed the last level of adult basic education and training. Their English literacy and numeracy skills will be of a sufficient standard to cope with FLC. In some instances, employees who have only completed three levels of adult basic education and training have been able to cope with FLC. However, it has sometimes taken them longer to complete FLC.

To determine whether your employees will be able to cope with FLC, they need to first complete a placement assessment. This is to evaluate their understanding and level of competence in a particular learning area. These placement assessments are undertaken by your accredited training provider.

FLC specialist

Triple E Training is the country’s foremost provider of quality FLC. This is complemented by a range of adult English literacy and numeracy training solutions. These English literacy and numeracy training programmes are geared specifically at improving the performance of low skilled employees in the workplace. Triple E Training looks forward to assisting you with your FLC training requirements. Learn more about how we can help your employees to achieve their full potential. www.eee.co.za.

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