SkillUp Training takes business and computing skills to underprivileged communities
SkillUp Training helps companies meet CSI obligations while delivering critical Microsoft and business administration training to those areas where it is needed most.
The concerted effort of SkillUp Training – part of Saryx Engineering Group – has seen underprivileged residents from areas including Langebaan, Saldanha, Vredenburg, Paternoster and St Helena’s Bay acquire additional skills to help them obtain a job, or even launch their own small business.
According to Chantal McNally, Training Manager at SkillUp Training, the company facilitated levels 1-3 Microsoft computer training, along with a Business Administration course, to some 50 people from the region.
“Basic computer training is absolutely critical for most modern jobs, and our courses cover the introduction to computers, and how to get the best from Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. Meanwhile, Business Administration – which is an accredited learnership programme – teaches learners the basics of budgeting, report writing, handling phone calls, problem solving skills and office etiquette,” she notes.
Of course, she adds, taking these courses into areas with little connectivity means that the training team must get creative, in order to deliver the training.
“To this end, we made use of a range of microcomputers known as Raspberry Pi. These devices are lightweight, do not take up much space and are connected to a multipoint terminal server that allows the trainer to view a trainee’s session without leaving the front of the class to assist them. This proved invaluable when training under COVID-19 distancing regulations, while the terminal server itself was connected to a 3G router, enabling for wireless Internet connectivity for the microcomputers.”
The success of the project can be seen by the responses of the learners, with one stating: “Being able to use a computer has made me more employable. Thank you”, while another noted that: “Learning how to budget and better my administration skills has helped me with managing my small home business”.
Explaining why training of this nature is so important for companies, McNally says that Section 12H of the Income Tax Act affords companies tax rebates for each learnership undertaken.
“SkillUp Training assists companies that are keen to undertake such training by enabling them to find learners from the region they operate in, arranging all the paperwork and contracts, and handling the project management too. While we can also do training for their existing employees, our core focus is on helping businesses with training spend and upskilling communities in their area of operation.”
McNally points out that with its accredited trainers and using Saryx’s Training Management Platform, SkillUp Training offers hybrid training; both online and from its in-person training facilities in Richards Bay, Ballito and Witbank.
“Computer training is like learning languages – it is a skill that virtually everyone needs and can benefit from. Businesses, too, receive benefits like positive employee retention, the training of future leaders, employee empowerment and increased workplace engagement.”