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BEER BOTTLES, LABELS AND BOXES
A group of youths were taken on a learnership programme to train them in the ways of beer packaging.  ~ 

Not every parent can afford to send their kids to study for a degree.

To help fill the gap of lost potential, companies provide workshops and skills training to deserving young people.

One of these companies is Heineken. They recently took a step to change the lives of young Mzansi men and women.

About 28 youths took part in a year-long training programme to study packaging so that they now stand a better chance of finding a job at any brewer.

Thandie Letshabo, manager for the supply chain academy at Heineken South Africa, said their SETA-accredited Packaging Learnership Programme empowers Mzansi students with the skills they need to secure a job.

Students earn an NQF Level 3 packaging qualification with a certificate upon graduation.

Thandie said the students learn about packaging at their state-of-the-art brewery in Sedibeng, Midvaal. This is where the company brews a large portion of its premium and mainstream brands such as Windhoek, Miller Genuine Draft, Sol, Amstel and Strongbow cider.

The company selected eight of their employees to study packaging with students enrolled at the Vaal University of Technology.

Education at the brewery

“As part of making sure the brewery is transformed from a male-dominated industry, 15 women were selected for the packaging learnership.

“It is important that the programme reflects women’s potential capabilities and contribution in the industry.

“Through the learnership, these students get the skills and attributes that will make them employable in other brewery roles that may become vacant after their successful completion of the training.”

She said that exposing the students to the theoretical and practical requirements of the job training early on translated to useful future employees who are skilled and prepared for most challenges in their career paths.

“We want to build an organisation with fully capable and empowered employees who can perform their current and future jobs and with the skills that can allow them to grow in this and related businesses.”

The learnership trains staff with skills needed in the current working environment.

In addition to the packaging learnership, the academy also runs the following programmes:

Millwright apprenticeship – as part of the technical operator programme – NQF 4

Business administration – NQF 3

Generic management – NQF 4

The competency-based training focuses on upskilling staff with specific skills, knowledge and behaviours critical for them to perform their work duties.

For more information on the brewer and its programmes, visit www.heinekensouthafrica.co.za

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