Novus Holdings: Corporates Can Impact Youth Employment Through In-House Training

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Half of the number of students who enter university will drop out before graduating, approximately 50% during their first year alone. This is according to research conducted by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) in 2013.
 
High-priced university courses are not the only option for students as learning a trade can provide them with faster access to formal employment and the opportunity to earn a decent salary.
 
The South African Government’s Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) agrees, having launched its Decade of the Artisan in 2014, a programme which aims to attract young people into trades. However, this should not solely be a government initiative. South African industries can improve the success rate of young people and help drive social development by up-skilling and training their employees.
 
The printing industry in particular is a sector that requires specialised skills as systems and equipment are constantly being modernised. ‘Well trained and looked-after employees strive for excellence within their profession. When an industry is specific and provides on the job training, employees tend to remain within the company, making training both necessary and cost effective,’ said Nico Grobbelaar, Executive of Human Resources at Novus Holdings.
 
Novus Holdings decided to establish the Novus Academy in 2011 after noting the shortage of specialised skills in the marketplace. Setting new standards in printing and related business skills for the industry, the Novus Academy has earned international recognition as an approved centre of the City & Guilds of London Institute, offering programmes aligned to international curricula.
 
‘Over the years, we have built a world-class facility dedicated to providing the most advanced training in order to strengthen the skills level of future generations in the print industry. Our apprenticeships programmes offer successful applicants an opportunity to earn an income while working towards an internationally certified trade qualification,’ added Grobbelaar.
 
Apprenticeships are offered in 10 specialised areas and this year, 19 new apprentices have joined the Novus Academy. Another 20 candidates started their career journey with the Academy’s Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&M SETA) approved Print and Packaging Bridging Programme for aspiring technical workers.
 
Of 166 apprentices indentured since 2011, 56 have already completed their studies with an average score of 92%. The Academy’s 100% final trade test pass rate achieved to date can be attributed to its training methodology, as well as the approach to conduct trade tests in real-time rather than in a simulated environment.
 
‘As market leader in the South African printing and manufacturing sector, we understand that self-dependency and innovation in terms of skills development within our business and industry are critical. We are committed to investing in the development of skilled and motivated people by providing comprehensive training opportunities,’ concluded Grobbelaar.
 
In November 2015, the Novus Academy was recognised at the FP&M SETA Skills Development Recognition Awards 2014/2015 for Best Practice Workplace Provider in the Apprenticeships category.

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