Corobrik’s dedication to community empowerment through ongoing educational opportunities has afforded 18 individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve an Animal Production NQF Level 1 learnership.
The successful completion of the course in September this year has inspired 10 of the graduates to pursue the Plant Production NQF Level 2 learnership. In addition to Corobrik sponsoring their learnership, an additional eight new learners with disabilities will be sponsored to complete the Plant Production NQF Level 1 learnership. Both groups will commence the course on 19 November 2018.
The one-year Animal Production course, which started in September 2017, was run by Khulisani through the Merrivale Academy based in KwaZulu-Natal. Corobrik sponsored the training of these 18 intellectually disabled people residing in the greater Pietermaritzburg area. Nine of the candidates completed the Plant Production Learnership the previous year and, having shown dedication to the course, were selected to enrol in the Animal Production qualification.
“The learners selected for this particular programme had to overcome socio-economic challenges as well as learning disabilities which make finding regular employment difficult,” said Berkley Petty, Corobrik Human Resources Development Manager. “Corobrik identified the fantastic work being done by the Khulisani Merrivale Academy and is committed to this continued partnership which will improve the lives of these deserving individuals.”
The Academy provides opportunities for youth with disabilities – aged 18 to 29 - to develop vocational and entrepreneurial skills. The learners are employed on a fixed term contract for the duration of the learnership and efforts are made following the successful completion of the course to secure employment for the candidates.
The SETA-accredited Animal Production programme consists of 122 credits within four different modules including foundational learning, agri-business, agri-practice and animal production.
Rowan Robinson, Training Manager at the Merrivale Academy, explained that the Corobrik-sponsored Animal Production learnership is a comprehensive programme which leaves successful candidates better-placed for employment opportunities.
“A learnership is an occupational learning programme that exposes the learner to theoretical work as well as on-the-job training,” said Robinson. “These learners engage with the theory section, mainly in the classroom, and then move to the Khulisani Farm where they are exposed to worksite training. They get to work with the animals including sheep, chickens and a working dairy for exposure to cows.”
Phumlile Mtshali, one of the previous Corobrik-sponsored learners, said: “I did not know that animals also need to be taken care of, such as vaccinating them when they are sick. What fascinates me most is that I can also get income out of the produced milk from the cows. One day I would like to own a farm.”
Classmate, Nokuzotha Mjwara, said: “I have learnt independency. I am now able to budget and live by myself. I learnt a lot about milking cows on the farm and how to take care of all other animals,”
Lwandile Ngcoya said: “After this learnership (AP1) I have come to realise that I do not need much money to start my own source of income. I started to buy my own chickens to start getting eggs to sell to the neighbours, since I have to support my son who is now about to start school.”
Commenting on Corobrik’s sponsorship, Robinson said: “Corobrik has been a champion for the cause of disability. They have provided additional funding which will enable 8 new learners to register for the Plant Production NQF Level 1 learnership and ten of the original 18 learners were able to progress to the Plant Production NQF Level 2 learnership - which is substantially more difficult than the previous programme. We wish them luck and success in this new learning opportunity. We send huge thanks to Corobrik for their generosity and support for people who are differently-abled!”