Nous Holdings’ training facility, the Novus Academy, was presented with the gold award in the Best Artisan Development Programme category at the National Skills Development Awards gala.
Aside from recognising best skills development practices in various categories across all skills development implementers and National Skills Fund projects, the awards also provide exposure for best skills development practices through print and electronic media, as well as work placement opportunities created through various learning programmes such as artisan development, learnerships and internships to name a few.
The gala was held on 23 March at the St George Hotel in Pretoria.
‘We are excited and humbled to receive this recognition. For us this achievement is a result of great team effort as each and every person that has been supporting the Novus Academy and its work, including our apprentices, learners and employees, have all contributed to our success,’ said Nico Grobbelaar, executive head of human resources at Novus Holdings, previously known as the Paarl Media Group.
Noting the shortage of specialised skills in the marketplace, the Group established the Novus Academy in 2011, which has grown into a world-class facility dedicated to providing the most advanced training programmes aligned to international curricula.
Award entries were judged on 2014–2016 performance criteria, which included track record of placements and appointments, retention and throughput, number of learners employed and the profile of learners.
The national two-day event brings together key players within the post-school education and training system, across many sectors of industry, to convene with the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, for high-level discussion on the strengthening of skills development in South Africa.
With its sophisticated infrastructure that includes world-class software and technology, the Novus Academy works closely with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, The National Artisan Moderation Body, South African Qualifications Authority and Printing SA. It is endorsed by the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority, and approved as a training centre for the City and Guilds of London Institute.
The Academy launched its apprenticeship programmes in 2011, which offer successful applicants an opportunity to earn an income while working towards an internationally certified trade qualification. The apprenticeship programmes use an integrated approach that recognises the importance of mathematics, environmental studies and end-user computer training. Apprenticeships are offered in 12 specialised areas. Of 164 apprentices indentured since 2011, 69 have already completed their studies with an average score of 92%.
‘We understand that self-dependency and innovation in terms of skills development within our business and industry are critical. Winning this award is an indication that we are on the right path and we remain committed to investing in the development of skilled artisans by providing comprehensive training and trade learning opportunities,’ concluded Grobbelaar.