The Engen Computer School in Wentworth recently held a graduation ceremony for 80 proud community members who received certificates for completing various computer and business skills courses. The Engen Computer School offers members of the local community introductory-level computer skills training, which cover nine units of the National Certificate: Information Technology: End User Computing. Over the past decade, Engen’s free computer skills training school has transformed many lives in South Durban by giving over 1 700 students the confidence and knowledge to go out and secure jobs that would otherwise never have been possible. To attend the Engen Computer School, applicants must be unemployed school-leavers and reside in the South Durban area. While matric and age criteria are not prescribed, most students who attend the school are aged from 20 to 40. While statistics are incomplete due to the difficulty of keeping track of everyone who graduates, over the past two years 77 students have secured jobs or have been accepted into learnership programmes after completing the course. Last year 12 students found jobs during their training. Sheryl Casalis, training director of Added Advantage Academy, which has provided the training since 2009, says two four-month courses are offered per annum each accommodating 80 people. Engen invests approximately R15 000 per student to attend the course. “The competency rate for students is between 94% and 96% by the time they complete the course,” says Casalis. “Upon graduation they are computer literate individuals able to work independently using the most common computer programmes utilised in offices today.” The second course for 2018 commenced on 2 July and has 79 attendees. Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Adhila Hamdulay says the Engen Computer Centre is well known in the community and always has a waiting list of people wanting to upskill themselves by attending the course. Hamdulay . . .
Vega invites learners, parents and working professionals to attend its next open day for the year, taking place at Vega campuses nationwide on Saturday, 4 August 2018. The open day will give prospective students and their parents an overview of what campus life is all about, as well as valuable insight into the many higher education qualifications available to study at Vega. Open days at Vega are structured to make it easier for parents and students to meet with lecturers, principals and current students to ask questions and get a feel for the Vega way of life. “Vega is a learning environment quite unlike any other in South Africa. We pride ourselves in providing students with challenges that allow them to showcase their acumen, creativity and ingenuity on engaging real-world campaigns, such as our famous annual Vega Brand Challenge.” says Nicky Stanley, National Marketing Manager at Vega School. “These open days allow prospective students to experience first-hand what our campuses have to offer, while providing context into the various IIE qualifications available to study at Vega, and allowing them to engage with lecturers at Vega on a one-on-one basis.” Popular afternoon drive radio hosts Greg & Lucky from 947 will be visiting the Vega Johannesburg campus on Saturday. For anyone interested in this and any other upcoming Vega events, like Vega School on Facebook or visit their website. Date: 4 August 2018 Time: 09:00 AM - 13:00 PM Venue: Vega Campuses nationwide Cost: Free CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
André de Jager, a semi-finalist in this year’s Adobe Design Achievement Awards, is one half of the creative team behind SMILE, a campaign aimed at driving social change among South Africa’s youth. As a former student of Vega (a brand of The Independent Institute of Education – The IIE), de Jager took part in the 2017 Vega Brand Challenge which sparked the idea to create a campaign that encouraged young people to do more for others. Along with his ‘partner in crime’, Ayesha Kaprey, de Jager entered his 2017 Brand Challenge submission into the 2018 Adobe Awards, and was subsequently chosen as a semi-finalist in the internationally-recognised competition. Give us a run-down of the SMILE campaign you developed? Operation Smile approached us to help make them relevant to the next generation of donors. They wanted young people to be passionate about their brand and, of course, to donate and help. We first interrogated the relevance of ‘help’, ‘donation’ and ‘involvement’ in terms of brand building. We figured through our research that people do care about the issue, and about helping, but that there is no ‘cool’ or relevant way to participate or donate. So, we created a new project called SMILE, a project that champions the simple power of a wide grin. We wanted to create a product that adds value to the lives of the donors - we wanted to add value to the experience of doing good. A positive turnaround of “what’s in it for me” to “I do this for them and myself”. Whether that’s a t-shirt, some sweats or whatever’s trending, donations and goodwill are built into the price of every item. We defined modern goodwill as a place where you can do good, look good, and feel good. Being a good person can be a part of your aesthetic. We created an evolving brand identity that can easily move and shift with the tastes and trends of what’s cool now – because how do you keep up with the kids? You go on the ride with them! The idea of a ‘shifting’ brand identity is . . .
John de Cahna has been in the hospitality and tourism industry for more than 50 years, and is now starting a new adventure, that of retirement - but not before imparting some of his knowledge to the youth of today. This year, The Beverly Hills Hotel hosted the ENZA initiative to help the local youth. This iconic hotel in Umhlanga, Durban is world famous and prides itself by its high standard of customer service, beautiful and unmatchable infrastructures, as well as the most gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean. The event was a huge success, hosted by the charismatic General Manager, Mr John de Canha. He welcomed 90 boy students to a 2 hour event that looked into his long and impactful career with Tsogo Sun. Being an expert in the hospitality and tourism industry, he spoke to the students about how a career in this field is definitely a step in the right direction- especially with the long term goal of creating their own businesses one day. “You have to get excited when you see the amount of development that is happening on the North Coast and the uMhlanga Ridge. We need to get the right role players to set the ball rolling and create a strategic way forward for KZN Tourism”, stated John de Cahna during his presentation. Project Enza's Nhleko added: “I am grateful to all the partners of this particular project without which my vision would not have become a reality.” Apart from the learners gaining invaluable knowledge, they also got to visit a five star hotel and experience the operational aspect of working in the hospitality industry. This is probably something they would never have had an opportunity to do. All the students departed with a positive attitude, and expressed gratitude to having enjoyed such a unique opportunity. Note to Editor: Project Enza, who facilitated this special initiative, was established by entrepreneur Thandekile Jessica Nhleko and was born out of her love and passion for the hospitality and tourism industries. She is . . .
Happy 47th Birthday to Gambit, uShaka Sea World’s oldest and most famous dolphin. On Saturday, July 28, the uShaka Sea World family will celebrate Gambit’s special day with a large cake, and singing with old and new friends. Gambit, a true ambassador for the oceans, is a national icon and has inspired more than 18 million South Africans to care for the marine environment. His ability to touch the hearts of people and inspire them to care for the ocean has enabled him to achieve more for marine conservation than any other marine animal in South Africa. Gambit, who currently weighs around 480 kilograms, is father to six of the uShaka Sea World dolphins and grandfather to one. Generations of people have ‘met’ Gambit. As children, many of us can recall when we first met Gambit. As parents we have been able to share our experiences with our children. At uShaka Sea World we can recreate those wonderful memories of meeting Gambit with our children. Recently, more and more grandparents are visiting Gambit to share these same very special memories of Gambit with their grandchildren. We invite you to join us as we celebrate and thank Gambit during the dolphin presentations on Saturday, July 28 at either 11:30 or 15:00, and to share your stories and pictures of Gambit on Twitter @SAAMBR or Instagram SA_Biological_Research. Alternately, you can send an email to email@example.com . SAAMBR funds important research that contributes to marine conservation. In addition, each year over 130 000 learners, many from underprivileged backgrounds, have the opportunity to experience a dolphin show at uShaka Sea World. For most of these children it is their only chance to connect with this magnificent creature, an experience that often stays with them for a lifetime. For more information please contact Ann Kunz on 031 – 328 8152 or 083 392 4147 CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Private-public partnerships may significantly help implement key infrastructure projects in education. South Africa reacted with shock to the recent death of Lumka Mketwa, a five-year old learner at Luna Primary School in Bizana in the Eastern Cape. Lumka was discovered missing when the driver of her school transport did not see her among the group he usually picks up after school. After a frantic search, she was found later that night, drowned in the pit latrine of the school. Lumka’s death was all the more heart-rending for its circumstances, with the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, too at a loss to express her feelings about the manner of Lumka’s death. Her death, following the similar tragic death of five-year old Michael Komape at his rural school in Limpopo in 2014, spotlights the urgent need to rid all schools of all pit latrines. The province’s education spokesperson is reported to have admitted that the old toilets where Lumka drowned, should have been demolished “long ago”. Notwithstanding, no school should have pit latrines, old or new, according to South Africa’s Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. In 2013, the Basic Education Minister signed into law the Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. It specifically provides for provinces to ensure the necessary environments for quality learning and teaching to take place. Research confirms the positive correlation between infrastructure development and educational outcomes. The law stipulates that schools must have decent toilets, electricity, water, fencing, adequate classroom numbers, libraries, laboratories and sports fields. It also states unequivocally that plain pit and bucket latrines are not allowed in schools. Public-Private Partnerships can make the difference. Various government departments have successfully implemented their programmes because of close working relationships with the private and civil society sectors. These . . .
Matriculant, not sure what you want to do with your life? Or perhaps you do know, BUT you simply don’t have enough money to pursue the career of your dreams next year? Don’t despair, Tiffiny Thomas, Owner and Founder of Blue Bird Aupairs has a solution! “A Gap Year,” says Tiffiny “is the perfect opportunity for young adults to not only find their feet in the world, but to also earn money at the same time!” Whilst traditional trips abroad may not be an affordable Gap-Year option for most young South Africans, Tiffiny says that it doesn’t mean that they can’t ‘Gap it’ in their own backyard. “Taking a year off to discover yourself doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg. In fact, if you do it right, you can actually make money to travel AND save towards your studies!” Plus, the opportunity to get real-life experience is something that you simply can’t pass up “You will be updating your CV with valuable experience that will give you an edge over other young adults once you hit the job market and officially start your career,” Tiffiny explains. From being an in-store promoter or waitressing at a restaurant to tutoring younger children after school, these are the kinds of jobs that are available to students who are reliable and willing to work hard, says Tiffiny. She adds that there has been a rise in the demand for young au pairs who are passionate and responsible. “More and more, working parents are turning to young role models to take care of their children in the afternoon instead of leaving them at the school aftercare,” Tiffiny explains. The best part? Studies have shown that Students who take a gap year have improved academics compared to students who didn't take a gap year! CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
South Africa has a shortage of good Baristas. That’s why The Daily Buzz, which operates 12 coffee bars in corporate locations across Gauteng and an in-house coffee roastery, Craft Coffee, has launched the first South African developed and fully SETA accredited Barista training academy in Newtown, Johannesburg, this month (July). Craft Coffee, one of the premier artisan roasteries in South Africa, is headed by 2013 South African and All Africa Barista champion, Lovejoy Chirambasukwa, and has been an integral part of the unique blend that has made The Daily Buzz a huge success. Now, according to CEO, Andrew Brown, it will share another secret ingredient with the broader coffee community and help solve a critical problem – a shortage of Baristas. “South Africa’s biggest problem is unemployment. But every new coffee bar needs at least five new Baristas! So we want to improve the quality of baristas’ skills, employ more people and improve their earning ability,” he points out He says that the company’s Baristas have been the key to its success with both technical expertise and customer engagement being paramount. “Taking pride in the smallest detail, such as knowing repeat customers by name, has been a key differentiator for our business. We have proved the value of extensive investment in staff training and educate our staff as meticulously as we choose our coffee. There is very little they don't know about great coffee and excellent service,” he says. Already eight new students are en route to obtaining an NQF3 skills programme. The course was developed by the Craft Coffee team with the help of the SETA recognised specialists at THRIVE. After formal lectures in the classroom, trainee Baristas complete workplace assignments and present their ‘portfolios of evidence’ to the coffee gurus. The learner guide and workbook with which they are supplied provides a broad range of content that not only shows them how to clean and adjust a grinder so that it . . .
Tune into ETV’s morning show in collaboration with Printing SA who are showcasing the importance of the printing, labelling and packaging industry in a humorous yet real life setting. Let’s face it, buying groceries can be anything from extremely boring to very frustrating – especially when shoppers are on the run; on the way to fetching the kids from school or on route home from work after a busy day. Now imagine if none of the food items were labeled. Catch ETV’s “The Morning Show” presenter Tino Chinyani navigate the supermarket aisles and try to buy something when confronted with shelves of identical silver unlabeled tins and trying to tell the baked beans from the strawberry jam. Tune into between 6am – 8am on Tuesday 31st July. For more information go to Printing SA’s facebook page CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela. In the spirit of a man who took humanitarianism and transformation to a whole new level globally and in celebration of Mandela Day (July 18th), East Point Shopping Centre adopted the SOS Education Campaign – which stands for Support our Schools - in an attempt to help improve the quality of education in the country, with their main focus being specifically on their community. In doing so, they aim to provide hope to future generations. East Point and its staff complement, sponsors and tenants, incorporated the SOS initiative by partnering with its local community school, Hulwazi Secondary School, in Daveyton, Gauteng, who is responsible for over 1800 students. They spent more than 67 minutes replacing broken window panes, painted the school poles in the official school colours, painted the school passages as well as replaced existing school signage with a brand new sign. East Point together with their partners to this particular overhaul included The Gym Company, New Clare Glass and Mall Ads who sponsored items in excess of R24 000. Note to editor - SA Corporate Real Estate launches SOS Education Campaign on Mandela Day East Point Shopping Centre is owned by SA Corporate Real Estate Limited, one of the oldest and most established companies within South Africa's property sector. The company created the SOS Campaign - which stands for Support Our Schools - which is an attempt to help improve the quality of education in the country and provide hope to future generations. It is also a tribute to the legacy left by Nelson Mandela who would have been 100 on Wednesday, July 18 2018. SA Corporate Real Estate Limited owns 21 shopping centres across the country. Each of these centres has identified and adopted a school within the community in which it is situated and will work with this school for the next three years. "We felt that, given the crisis in . . .