On 17-18 November 2020, Lovedale’s Agritrade Learnership students received training in digital literacy on the Big Pineapple Summerhill Farm based in Bathurst. The training programme was a collaboration with Lovedale’s training provider Sbongukhanyo Training Solutions and the Eastern Cape e-Skills CoLab, based at Walter Sisulu University. During the training Ms Sibukele Gumbo, Director: e-Skills Colab: ICT for Rural Development, raised awareness around the Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR) and the importance of digital consciousness. The training emphasized how the students can use technology to make life easier such as personal banking, personal planning and organizing by using Google calendar. Social media, on-line storage as well as how to protect their on-line identities, also formed part of the workshop.
The forty-five students who benefitted from this digital literacy training are already enrolled in a 12-month Agri Trade Learnership that commenced mid-June 2020. Lovedale TVET College’s Partnership and Skills Unit (PSU) is responsible for offering learnerships that will benefit the community and alleviate poverty by providing well rounded employees and skilled entrepreneurs. Learnerships are unique offerings, because they combine workplace experience with industry-relevant training, resulting in a well-rounded individual who will have the required knowledge and some workplace experience to fill a position within that specific sector. The Agri-trade qualification provides learners the opportunity to access learning in broad Agri-trade processes and practices, which include opportunities for learners to grow in the specific field, as well as becoming entrepreneurs. Once qualified and assessed as competent, learners will be able to demonstrate competence in ordering, receiving, pricing, storing and selling of merchandise, as well as stock taking and completing of sales transactions. Learners will also demonstrate an understanding of the Agri Trade processes in agriculture industry.
Partnerships and Skills Unit Manager Ms Kosani commented: “The computer literacy opportunity will add technological skills to the skill set that the learners already have acquired through the Agri-trade learnership. Many thanks to all partners involved- the National Skills Fund (NSF) for funding the qualification, the training provider Sbongukhanyo Training Solutions, who assisted us greatly as at the time the college was not yet accredited to provide the agritrade qualification; and the Eastern Cape e-Skills CoLab, based at Walter Sisulu University, for this additional computer literacy training. We feel confident that our Partnerships and Skills Unit (PSU), as part of the college’s mandate are continuing to make a difference in the lives of our young adults and their communities.”
The Agritrade learnership is specifically offered on the Big Pineapple Summerhill Farm, Bathurst region due to the production of pineapple and the success of the region in production of the fruit. The students received strong support from the PSU and were able to continue their learnership despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They are set to complete the qualification in June 2021.
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