Fasset, the sector education and training authority for finance, accounting, management consulting and other financial services, recently approved R59.4 million in funding for development projects this year.
“The project funding pot was significantly bigger this year as a result of an increase in skills levies,” explains Fasset CEO Cheryl James.
“As a result, our exco was able to approve funding for seven development projects. While some of the projects are ‘tried and tested’, others are new. Most importantly, these projects will enable Fasset to increase its rural footprint, in areas such as the Free State, East London, Port Elizabeth and the Western Cape.”
Three projects are reruns: the Bonani 7 Work Readiness Project, delivered by Guarantee Trust Corporate Support Services; Thusanani 6, delivered by Stan Hutcheson & Associates; and the SciMathus Bridging Programme, offered by the Institute of Mathematics and Science Teaching at Stellenbosch University.
Fasset has agreed to fund 500 learners on the Bonani Work Readiness Programme, bringing the total number of learners funded to 3 630. There was a January intake and there will be another in July. For each programme, 250 learners will be recruited nationally.
The six-month Bonani Work Readiness Programme targets unemployed black finance graduates with BCom degrees or national diplomas. Learners are equipped with workplace skills and are then placed on either Saipa (SA Institute of Professional Accountants) or Saica (SA Institute of Chartered Accountants) learnerships.
With the establishment of academies in the Free State and in East London, Guarantee Trust Corporate Support Services now offers the Bonani programme in five provinces.
Fasset has also agreed to fund 200 learners on the Thusanani Work Readiness Programme, bringing the total number of learners funded by Fasset to 1 220.
Offered by Stanley Hutcheson & Associates in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Deloitte, the 12-week programme targets unemployed non-accounting graduates. Candidates are recruited according to scarce skills in the Fasset sector.
Unemployed graduates receive training in areas such as communication, problem solving, presentation skills, teamwork, and conflict management. They also learn how to write CVs and cover letters, and how to present themselves in a job interview. There are two intakes, one next month and a second one in July.
Although learners will be recruited nationally, training will be offered only in Gauteng.
Fasset has agreed to fund two groups of 25 learners on the SciMathus Bridging Programme. Fasset funded 25 learners in 2010/11; 25 in 2009/10; 25 in 2005/06 and 20 in 2004/05.
The 10-month bridging programme assists African, coloured and Indian learners to improve their marks in science, maths and accountancy, so as to gain admission to higher education in economic and management sciences. Learners study accounting at first-year university level, and they also have an opportunity to rewrite Grade 12 maths.
Learners are recruited directly from schools in the catchment area and nationally.
Fasset has agreed to fund 120 BCom and BCompt (Bachelor of Accounting Science) graduates on a four-month programme, which will be delivered by Boston City Campus & Business College.
Candidates will receive training in soft skills, life skills and pre-employment readiness. They will also receive computer skills training for a month; training in accounting and bookkeeping using a simulator for one month; and will spend a month completing an auditing case study.
After completing the Lerumo work readiness programme, candidates will be placed on Saipa or Saica learnerships. Boston will recruit nationally, but training will only be offered at Boston campuses in Gauteng.
Fasset has agreed to fund 50 BCom graduates on a one-year programme that culminates in the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) advanced certificate in accounting. The programme will be delivered by Madiba Bay Accountancy Training in Port Elizabeth.
Fasset is to fund 96 BCom graduates on a one-year programme, which will culminate in a postgraduate certificate for business analysts. The programme includes a work readiness component, and will be delivered by Rhodes University, in a consortium with Deloitte.
The programme will be offered in KZN, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng. Twenty-four learners will be recruited from each province.
Fasset has also agreed to fund 120 school-leavers on the seven-month Ithemba Programme, managed by the S&T School of Accounting Technicians. The programme targets unemployed Grade 12s, with accounting.
Candidates will also complete the AAT advanced certificate in accounting. The programme includes English language development; maths literacy; work readiness; life skills and MS Office user skills.
Twenty places have been reserved for learners with disabilities; learners will be recruited from the Philadelphia School for Learners with Disabilities.
“Development Projects remain a very important mechanism for enabling Fasset to achieve NSDS (National Skills Development Strategy) objectives, fast-track transformation within its sector and enable Fasset to increase its footprint in rural areas,” says James. “Over the past 11 years, more than 13 000 learners have benefited from Fasset-funded development projects.”