News Updates:

More skilled professionals to enter the insurance

More skilled professionals to enter the insurance
30-03-12 / Staff Writer

More skilled professionals to enter the insurance

The programme, which is aimed at supporting work-based experience and helping the sector grow its own skills, will offer its participants a NQF Level 4 qualification as well as FAIS compliance. Its goal is to boost skills and promote a FAIS compliant industry as well as to give school leavers valuable hands-on work experience, says INSETA CEO, Sandra Dunn.

The programme comes in response to the high unemployment rate and increasing demand for skilled professionals in the insurance sector, and will offer 180 matriculants the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace, with the potential for employment once the 12-month SMME learnership is completed.

A total of 60 organisations across the Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal will be hosting learners, and the in-house training will be run by the African Resources Training Group (ARTG), which helped develop the learnership and has a 90% pass rate with its other programmes.

Speaking at the launch of the SMME learnership in Johannesburg recently, Dunn said that the Department of Higher Education had created an increased sense of urgency for the SETAs to create more direct links with the workplace.

"School leavers are often left with little or no opportunity for higher education, and are forced to take any unskilled employment that is available, with no room for development. This continues to exacerbate the lack of job creation and hinder transformation."

"This programme circumvents that by offering work experience and an income, while at the same time giving matriculants invaluable sector skills and a qualification that ensures development of both the individual and the sector itself," Dunn says.

In developing the programme, INSETA partnered with various organisations with stakes in the programmes "positive outcome, ensuring that the SMME learnerships" effectiveness would be maximised, giving learners every opportunity to complete the year and gain employment at the end of it.

"One of INSETA's aims is to form strategic, long-lasting partnerships that will continue to yield benefits for the wider economy even after the completion of this programme. Hopefully together we will continue to pursue other courses of action that will enable further job creation through these mutually beneficial relationships" she explains

The human resource consulting SMME, Talent Up, will be acting as project managers in the programme to ensure both learners and SMME's achieve the best possible outcomes.

The CEO of Talent Up, Serena Gopaul, described the programme as a year-long interview. "The programme allows SMMEs to develop and invest in talent, with the opportunity for substantial return on investment. INSETA pays the monthly incomes of the learners, and has done a wonderful job of ensuring that no parties are left wanting for anything. Support to the learners will include an SMS portal, counselling, quarterly visits from Talent Up, and learner engagement through connect sessions," she said.

Vodacom has sponsored each of the learners with their product, the WebBox, a portable device that allows internet access through a television, and a year's worth of free data for the device. This means that learners will be able to obtain all the information needed for their learnership programmes at no expense, while at the same time developing their technological savvy.

Further support will be given to the employers, and Gopaul said all these factors would lead to a programme with a high chance of success.

INSETA has set a high pass rate target of 90%, and Dunn said she believed this could be achieved.

"Despite the high targets, I believe in the programme's potential. Not everything is about numbers. With this programme we want to be able to say that we have changed lives. Even if employment is not gained with the company that the learner is initially placed in, the experience and qualification will be invaluable. Andrew Reinecke of ARTG put it so well when he said "you can lose a job, but not a qualification"

"There is a great need for training of this nature in the insurance sector; small businesses and skilled training are key ingredients for growth and development in South Africa. With this programme, we aim to develop skilled employees who can put their organisations on the path of sustainable success, who can innovate and create new products and services, and thus create even more jobs in the long run" concludes Dunn, adding that she believes that the effects of the learnership programme could be far-reaching.

Leave a Comment