Empowering the youth

2019-04-09 06:01
A lecturer hard at work, training a student coder.

A lecturer hard at work, training a student coder.

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The team is wrapping up the application process and is sifting through applications from potential trainees for the Life Choices Academy, powered by CoGrammar.

According to Ryan Geel, the Academy’s placements and partnerships officer, in preparation for the next intake, any potential trainee in possession of a senior certificate in mathematics, mathematical literacy and English, who is interested in doing the course would need to go to their website and apply. The application process is not tedious, it is just an exercise to allow the potential student to do things for himself.

“It is designed to understand their level of thought and language (English),” he said adding that English is included as a requirement because it is the language used in training and industries. When an applicant succeeds in the online application process, he or she goes through an interview where the life choices team will determine if they meet the criteria.

Personality, ambition, drive and whether or not the applicants fits with the NGOs culture are some of the traits that the panel looks for during the interview.

The course, which runs for 12 months, has no application fee and tuition is also free.

Geel said that the course serves as an opportunity for disadvantaged youth who are unable to access university due to lack of finance or just a mere lack of opportunities. Trainees spend the first six months in the classroom where they are taught by qualified lecturers. They proceed to be placed for internship for the remaining six months. What happens after the internship has been completed with regards to being taken permanently by a company becomes the business of an intern and the company concerned.

Geel also added that the course is not just all about coding and computers, even though that is its huge component. It also teaches soft skills such as communications and installs a great sense of commitment. “They come in the morning from Monday to Friday like they would in the workplace. If they are late or bunk classes, they meet with the HR team to explain reasons or share whatever issues they might have which cause them to act like that,” he said, adding that at Life Choices they take care of personal development of their trainees, which is why they encourage them to be open to discovering skills or talents they did not know they had.

According to Geel, the primary focus of the course is to help address the issue of unemployment in the Cape Flats. “They [trainees] are able to earn an income in six months and be able to maybe further their education and besides, coding is a big need,” he said.

Singing praises of the course was current trainee, Marlon Ford (22) from Grassy Park. He said: “The course has been amazing, it helped me to learn a lot of things and has also helped me grow.” He also added that the course taught him people skills which he reckons are very beneficial in the professional world.

“I like the world of computers – it is a passion of mine and doing the course has been very fruitful. People who are thinking of applying for the course, they should not have doubts,” said Nathier Manuel who is also a current student in the course, which he described as valuable.

V For more information regarding applications. Go to: www.cogrammar.com/apply

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