Graduates enter labour market

2018-11-06 06:02
Work4You graduates enjoy a treat in celebration of their graduation.

Work4You graduates enjoy a treat in celebration of their graduation.

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Engen-sponsored bursary holders proudly received their graduation certificates at the Work4You Spring Stakeholders celebration in Salt River recently.

Non-profit organisation Work4You offers work-training opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities, significantly boosting employment of these young adults in the formal labour market.

According to a Work4You statement, Engen has supported the organisation for the past six years. Over the past three years, 32 Engen-sponsored bursary holders have benefited from this initiative, many of whom have entered the workplace. Eleven bursary holders are currently being trained and will graduate in 2019.

Lynn D’Alton, Work4You operations manager and occupational therapist, says the energy company’s commitment has allowed the organisation to dramatically increase their impact on young adults with intellectual disabilities, who may otherwise never have afforded the training costs.

Work4You focuses its attention on people with intellectual disabilities, aged 18 to 30, acting as a bridge between the end of special needs education and supported employment in the open labour market.

D’Alton says they boast high commercial employment rates, thanks to their skills and personal development programme, which is delivered by a team of professionals.

To date, D’Alton says, 111 members have been placed in the open labour market. Of the 21 bursary candidates that graduated in 2016 and 2017, 19 have contracted employment. “We are very positive that the results for 2018 will be as successful as previous years. This is a success rate of 90.5%.”

Engen corporate social investment manager, Adhila Hamdulay, says the company is fully committed to supporting people with disabilities.

“We know this is a key area of need, and are humbled to play a part in seeing these young people gain relevant work experience and life skills, and then hopefully permanent jobs,” adds Hamdulay.

It is Engen’s support that has really enabled Work4You to continue advancing the employment of youngsters with intellectual disabilities in the open labour market, says D’Alton, adding that increasing interest in and need for their services has led to the development of a social franchise model.

“We hope to use this to expand our impact across South Africa, and we are grateful to Engen for helping us get to this point,” she adds.V For more information about Work4You, visit www.work4you.org.za or Facebook: Work4you.

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