July 12, 2024

Companies sponsoring learnerships are looking beyond profit toward a better future

3 min read

Business success is not only about profit margins and market share; it is also about positively impacting society and contributing to the growth of future leaders. A powerful way for businesses to achieve this is by funding learnerships, where every programme sponsored has the potential to transform lives and build a brighter future for individuals, communities, companies and the economy as a whole.

This is according to Rajan Naidoo, managing director of EduPower Skills Academy. He believes learnerships provide an effective mechanism for companies to actively participate in shaping the workforce of tomorrow. “Skills development has the ability to transform an individual’s life – and by sponsoring learnerships, companies not only invest in their future workforce but also contribute to broader societal upliftment.”

He highlights the ripple effect that learnerships have: “Learnerships are an invaluable way for companies to extend their influence beyond the boardroom. In so doing, they provide hope and opportunities to those who would otherwise not have had an opportunity to develop the skills required to build a sustainable career.”

Outsourced hosting

One of the key advantages of partnering with EduPower is that companies can make a difference without the need to host learners on their premises. EduPower consolidates training and work experience at its facilities, ensuring a cohesive, all-in-one experience. “This flexibility allows companies to focus on their core business activities while still playing an active role in the development journey of the learners they are sponsoring,” Naidoo explains.

Transformative impact

Smangele Chiyi is one example and a testament to the profound change that can be brought about by fully hosted learnerships. As a young woman, she was involved in a hit-and-run accident and is now paralysed from the waist down. It was only when she started a learnership programme with Edupower that her belief in herself started to grow.

Today, she has practical skills and industry-specific knowledge that have unlocked new possibilities for her. In fact, the learnership has given her so much confidence that she qualified for the National Senior Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team.

“Smangele’s journey showcases how one person’s life can be massively transformed by a learnership, setting off a chain reaction of success,” Naidoo elaborates. “Our goal at EduPower is to empower individuals to break the cycle of poverty through skills development. Every sponsor becomes a partner in this journey, contributing not only to a person’s career but also to their entire life trajectory.”

Beyond the altruistic satisfaction of making a difference, companies also gain tangible benefits from sponsoring learnerships. Businesses can build a pipeline of young talent that is not only skilled but also aligned with the company’s values and ethos.

“Investing in learnerships is a strategic move for businesses looking to secure their future workforce. It’s about cultivating a pool of talented individuals who can contribute meaningfully to their organisation,” he adds.

Return on Investment

In addition, learnerships offer companies a valuable opportunity to maximise points for the skills development element of their broad-based black economic empowerment scorecards. Besides demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion, a positive rating can open doors to new business opportunities. Furthermore, organisations benefit from tax rebates and discretionary and mandatory grants. This, combined with outsourcing the hosting of learnerships to a reputable service provider, makes sponsorships a no-brainer.

Naidoo concludes: “In a world where a hand-up rather than a hand-out is increasingly needed, sponsoring learnerships is a compelling way for companies to make a lasting impact on our youth and society. By supporting skills development, businesses become architects of positive change, shaping a future with increased opportunities and hope for a better life for the disadvantaged.”

Leave a Reply