Take a look at me now! i-Fundi’s graduates share their trials and tribulations

Take a look at me now! i-Fundi’s graduates share their trials and tribulations

JOHANNESBURG – They say you measure progress by looking at how far you have travelled in your journey.

For millions of people across South Africa, every dawn presents a new challenge. When the sun rises, in the East, bringing an African warmth and the hope of new possibilities, many others wake up to face defeat and rejection in a harsh socio-economic landscape. Unemployment is a crippling reality in South Africa today. Granted there are governmental strategies put in place to attempt to bridge the desperately gaping unemployment cavity, however, it is a fact which cannot be ignored.  There is a lack of educated, skilled workers in the market.  The bottom line is simply; the demand fails to meet the supply.

Undoubtedly, it is a struggle to bridge this gap because poverty and unemployment have made the future of the African child as fickle as the temperament of a new born.

Understanding the plight of adversity, i-Fundi undertook a project which followed the lives of its alumni, to see how big the strides education has made in their lives. A wise man once said, “Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think”. That wise man was Albert Einstein. For these pupils, education and opportunity have definitely been their saving grace.

Comfort Moeketsi Sebatie (24) worked as a construction worker, until he decided to change his circumstances. In 2012, he pursued a NQF 2 contact centre certificate with i-Fundi. Sebatie says deciding to pursue the qualification changed his life significantly. No longer a construction worker, Sebatie is currently employed and was recently made a permanent employee by his company, Altech Autopage Cellular.

“I had never worked in a call centre before so it was a great challenge to decide to study and start something new. The transition was vast as I was moving into a completely different field as I worked before. The change was very good for me because I got to learn a lot about customer service values, self-discipline, and the industry as well”, he says.

Reflecting on his journey, Sebatie now realises that he is in control of his dreams, and by proactively going after the life he has imagined, his mind has shifted to accommodate positive thinking; “obstacles are opportunities to thrive”.

Another one of i-Fundi’s graduates is Mpumelelo Ndalane (29), who shares her success story. Ndalane’s story is synonymous with the millions of students in South Africa who completed their matric qualification, but lacked the funds to study further at tertiary level. “i-Fundi gave me a good stepping stone to a better future”, she says. When Ndalane’s host employer, Standard Bank offered her the opportunity to study further, she grabbed the opportunity with both arms, and she thereafter obtained an NQF 2 Contact Centre Certificate. “I am currently an analyst at Standard Bank and further pursuing my studies in Contact Centre Optimization. Everything I have achieved is because of the experience I have gained from working since qualifying. The certificate I obtained from i-Fundi definitely opened doors for me”, she says.

Reddy Preeshan’s success story proves the fact that education really does open doors for you, and how far you climb the ladder to success is entirely up to the efforts you put in. Having also studied a qualification in Contact Centre Operation NQF 2, he is amongst the successful students who believe they would never have it if it wasn’t for the opportunity he received to pursue a learnership with i-Fundi. “Today I am proud to say that I am a Software Testing Manager. Before, I worked as a call centre agent, and was thereafter promoted to management level as a Service Delivery Manager”, he says. His journey to the top is certainly am inspiring one, which should be a point of reference to anyone who doubts their capabilities.

Remember, we want you to share your life journey with us. If you are interested in being part of this ‘success stories’ project, kindly email: nyeleti@i-fundi.com.

Visit our  website and have a look at all the various accredited courses and qualifications we have on offer. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to contact us on: 011-290-5900.

Join us on our social media. Our Facebook name is i-Fundi, and i-Fundi Learners. Follow us on Twitter, our handle is @ifundisa. 

Attract and Retain the Talent You Need

Attract and Retain the Talent You Need

  • Regardless of region or sector, companies are struggling to find the people they need to succeed. How is that possible in a country with millions of unemployed people?Stefan LauberStefan Lauber, the Managing Director of i-Fundi, blames the current fast food approach to Human Resource Management as the root cause of the problem. “When companies recruit, they are looking for readymade people. Candidates are expected to have a proven track record in a position that was very similar to one that is currently advertised. There is little time to prepare anyone. New staff is needed now, someone may just have resigned or a company may need new employees to fulfil a new order.”With no time to develop new talent for open positions, there is little else that companies can do but to recruit from the same limited pool of candidates. Company A will poach staff from Company B, only to lose someone else to a competing company. In the long term, this is a zero sum game, everyone loses, he said.

    It is estimated that the costs of recruiting and training an entry level person in a call centre can easily be R 20 000, not counting lost productivity and opportunities.  Companies can easily pay twice as much for senior positions not to mention the time it takes to replace senior staff.

    Of course businesses try to beat their competitors in the war of talent. Amongst the strategies that companies use, are better pay and the creation of attractive value propositions.

    What must companies consider to make their offer stand out? Research shows that potential employees are looking for growth – in terms of learning, being able to apply their skills and the opportunity to advance their career. Benefits and compensation are obviously important and so is work-life balance. Millennials also like an employer that has values with which they can identify.

    Paying more than the competition is however not necessarily going to work. If others follow suit it will simply raise the labour costs for the whole industry.

    In order for companies to succeed Lauber believes they must design clear career paths that are matched by a corresponding ladder of learning and remuneration structure. “ All too often such plans do not exist and if they do, they are not consistently communicated or implemented. In other words these plans gather dust and fail to either attract or retain staff.”

    In order for these plans to work, a company’s senior management needs to lead the charge. “At African Bank, every new employee entering the call centre is on a learnership. From there, outstanding performers, are enrolled on a supervisor qualification. All along, the company’s leadership is visible. This year alone, the CEO personally handed out over 200 certificates, taking a company picture with each of the graduates.”

    That solves another problem. There is a saying that employees do not leave companies but that they leave bad managers. Having well trained supervisors reduces attrition and improves performance.But where will a company find the time and budget to train inexperienced hires and develop new supervisors? Workforce planners need to work hand-in-hand with recruiters and trainers. Rarely are they part of the same team. Typically the latter are only brought in at the last moment to react to a staffing crisis. At this point, it will be too late to implement a proactive, lasting solution.

    Companies do have funding for such programmes, although they are not aware of it. The first place to find that funding is in the salary budget. New hires are willing to work for less. The second place where they will find savings is in the on-boarding budget. As attrition drops, recruitment and training costs decrease. And finally companies need to take advantage of government incentives, amongst them are the new Employment Tax Incentive, Learnership Tax Breaks and various SETA grants.

    “Companies can easily save up to R 50 000 per annum per person by bringing in new talent” Lauber concludes. “All it takes is for companies to become more proactive”


    Session Pic

    For your reference, please find the presentation by Stefan Lauber: Attract & Retain the Talent you Need Presentation