Tag Archives: Sparrow FET College

Sparrow FET College encourages females to enter a male dominated industry, especially in the Automotive Repair and Maintenance industry

Kagiso Confidence was brought up in a small village in Rustenburg called Moruleng. She was from a large family, the fourth of six children. Her mother worked at a hotel and her father was a truck driver. Although she came from a supportive, happy family, she recalled times of struggle in her childhood. Kagiso attended her local government school and enjoyed Maths and Science. She was interested in studying Engineering and initially started training at her local college in electrical engineering but had to stop her studies due to financial reasons. After six months of unemployment, Kaigso heard about the opportunity for free studies at Sparrow FET College through the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), based in the Rustenburg branch. After applying to study at Sparrow FET College, Kagiso was accepted onto the Automotive Repair and Maintenance Programme.

Initially concerned by the male dominated course, Kagiso commented:“The course was challenging but great! I learnt so much at Sparrow FET College, including the basics of wearing a uniform, being professional and time management.”

After completing six months at the College, Kagiso went on to work at Volkswagen and is now halfway through her six month practical placement.

“I am working so hard and remaining focused – there is so much to learn.’

Kagiso would like to remain at the company to complete an apprenticeship.

“Thank you so much for this opportunity that I would never have had if it were not for the funding available to provide me with the education and stipends; it has helped me so much! I hope you continue change other people’s lives too. I would welcome the opportunity to meet you myself to thank you.”

Kagiso with her fellow students from Rustenburg (seventh person in the photo).

“ I want to learn more about teaching methods and child development so I can go back to the community where I was brought up and share what I have learnt.”

In July 2016, Nomsa Natacia Luthuli, a bright and young lady who grew up in Tsakane Township, located on the East Rand began a new chapter in her life. She signed up at the Sparrows FET (Further Educational Training) College to study Early Childhood Development (ECD).

Nomsa heard about the opportunity to study for free and gain invaluable practical workplace experience through a friend who worked at Sparrow and had asked Nomsa to support Sparrow by taking part in the Spinathon and 947 ‘Walk the Talk’ in aid of Sparrow Schools.

Nomsa had previously been running a catering business, which she stopped in November 2015 and although her love of cooking remains, she  decided to follow her lifelong interest in childhood development.

“Children express themselves differently where I am from and I want to learn more about teaching and child development so I can go back to the community where I was brought up and share what I have learnt.”

After completing six months of theory at Sparrow FET College, Nomsa started her work placement at Cubby House Preschool. This friendly preschool, is a new centre, which opened in January 2016 catering for children from the age of 2-6 years. Six weeks in she reflects on her experience, highlighting the importance of encouraging children to use their words and express themselves confidently.

“You have to choose your words and the way you say them so carefully, as it can really impact the child’s confidence and the way they express themselves.”

It was inspiring to watch Nomsa working with a 4 year old girl who has attended Cubby House since January 2016. The girl, who lives with her grandmother, did not speak any English and was very shy but since attending Cubby House and receiving 1-on-1 attention, her language development, gross motor skills and learning of colours, letters and numbers have improved dramatically.

The manager of Cubby House, Sharon Konstantinou spoke about how impressed she has been with Nomsa fitting into the preschool in such a short space of time:

“I don’t have to tell her what to do, she assesses a situation, uses her initiative and is always happy to step in.”

Although this is the first time that Sparrow’s FET candidate have been placed at Cubby House, Sparrow have previous connections with Cubby House’s sister organisation, Nic’s House, which supports children with special needs. Two students who completed their studies at Sparrow FET College have now been employed full time at Nic’s House.

Nomsa plans to start a weekend childcare business, as she believes there is a need with lots of parents working on the weekends and struggling to find good quality childcare. She hopes to go back to the community where she grew up and share the teaching methods that she has learnt to support the confidence and development of children from Tsakane Township.
‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.’ (Henry Adams)

“This job is awesome!”

These were the words that Melanie Joseph, a recent graduate from Sparrows FET College said as I asked her how she was finding her new position at the Sparrow Foundation School.

“It is challenging but exciting, and every day is completely different!

It is hard to believe that this young, confident lady had previously been unemployed for over two years, as she spoke so passionately about her current work situation.

Melanie heard about the opportunity to study for free from her sister in law and applied straight away. After passing the assessment in August 2015, Melanie was accepted onto the End User IT Programme in November 2015. In Melanie’s class, 17 of the 26 students had a physical disability, which ranged from students in a wheelchair, to students who had hearing and speech impairments. This is what made the experience for Melanie so unique:

“We were like a family… I helped the other students with disabilities but by the end of the course we were all helping each other!”

Melanie and her cohort spent six months from November 2015 to May 2016 at Sparrow FET College learning about different Computer programmes ranging from Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The second part of the course, the students spent their time in a work environment to gain practical experience in the office and put to practice everything that they learnt. Melanie was put forward by the facilitator, Mr Banda for the role as HR assistant and receptionist at Sparrow School’s Head Office, based in Melville. This proved to be a challenging role, working alongside Sparrow’s HR Manager who has the demanding job of dealing with over 100 staff in the organisation.

“Romela, my mentor, taught me so much! It was also a great experience to work alongside Jackie Gallagher, the founder of the organisation.”

After continuing to work hard and support the staff at head office, Melanie was promoted to a new position based at the Sparrow Foundation School in December 2016. Her new role involves supporting the Principal of the Foundation school, the teachers and dealing with parents of the children at the remedial school.

The other students from Melanie’s course are also excelling. Read Africa’s story here.

“They are all working at their placements, which have been extended or they have gone onto further studying with stipends. Sparrow FET has opened the door to opportunities for all of us! I would recommend Sparrow FET to anyone!”

Sparrow FET College are currently looking for disabled, learners from rural areas and Coloured or Indian learners to attend the college. Sparrow FET supports free education by providing stipends to students to study. We promote employment in South Africa by linking students to the workplace. Our job coaches and Learner Support Unit at Sparrow, provide holistic assistance to students, as we are passionate about tackling youth unemployment and promoting skills development.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, have passed Grade 12 (Grade 9 for Installation of Floor Coverings),you may qualify for FULLY funded learnership.The college provides SETA-accredited full qualification and skills programmes that are rated between NQF Levels 2 and 5.

Automotive Repair & Maintenance NQF 2

Assistant Chef NQF 2

Business Administration NQF 2

Early Childhood Development NQF 4

End-User Computing NQF 3

Installation of Floor Coverings NQF 2

Professional Cookery NQF 4

Sports Coaching NQF 4

Fluid Power Hose Assembly NQF 2 or 3 (Skills Program)

Contact us today:

Tel: +2711 673 4410 /19  Email: academics@sparrowschools.co.za

We are still reaching out to companies to accommodate our learners for their work experience placements. All students have stipends, so there is no requirement for the company to pay a salary. For further information, contact marywebber@sparrowschools.co.za

 

How a young person goes from staying at home for two years, to landing an opportunity to fix cars at Ford & Mazda?

After I finished my Matric in 2013, I stayed at home for two years, as I could not afford to go to UniversityI almost gave up.

Finishing school with no route into further education or employment, Yelulani’s story is a common one for many young people in South Africa today. However Yelulani was able to turn his life around after he found out about an opportunity that seemed too good to be true — a fully funded learnership to study Automotive Repair & Maintenance (NQF 2) at Sparrow FET College. The bright young Automotive Repair and Maintenance student completed his programme in June 2016 and we were delighted to catch up with Yelulani to see how he was getting on…

Yelulani has been accepted by Ford & Mazda in Germiston into their comprehensive four-year apprenticeship program. This is a fantastic opportunity to continue learning about automotive repairs and mechanics. His job includes checking different car’s brakes to make sure they are safe, and replacing parts that cannot be fixed.

So how does a young person go from staying at home for two years, to landing an opportunity to fix cars at Ford & Mazda?

After passing the entrance exams at Sparrow FET, Yelulani started Automotive Repair and Maintenance programme in July 2015. The course was split into two sections:

 

  • Lectures and theory at the FET College in Sophiatown.

 

According to Yelulani:

Mr Errol taught me a lot! He was passionate about what he was teaching but he also believed in us and pushed us to go beyond what we thought we could do.

 

  • 6 month work experience, where Yelulani gained practical experience at Mercedes Benz M2 Cargo.

 

When Yelulani started his work experience placement, the company was surprised by how much he knew:

They expected to teach me, but I already knew from my education at Sparrow FET; they told me ‘we need more people like you who are trained already’.

The Sparrow FET College does not just teach students about their programme, but also prepares young adults for the working environment:

They taught us about discipline, which was important, as many of us had not worked or studied for several years. This included the importance of arriving early, not being absent and how to behave in the workplace.

Yelulani has moved out of his family home in Pretoria; enjoying his independence and living on his own with the money he earns. He hopes to stay on at Ford after his apprenticeship has finished, and he will visit Sparrow soon with his younger brother who will be finishing school at the end of this year.

What advice would you give to someone who has just got their Matric results and does not know what to do?

I wanted to go to University but I had no money… At college I gained more practical experience than some of the Universities I was looking at, which has helped me get onto the apprenticeship. Wearing the gown on my graduation was such a dream come true and I thank Sparrow for the opportunity to turn my life around.

702 radio helps Sparrow FET College to recruit 79 disabled learners during Disability Rights Awareness Month

At the end of last year, a software company SAP approached Sparrow FET College Operations Manager, Melanie Malema and offered to fund 32 learnerships for disabled people. The request to fund disabled learners came through during the Disability Rights Awareness Month. Every year, South Africa celebrates National Disability Rights Awareness Month between 3rd November and 3rd December to promote equality and empowerment to those living with disabilities. This was a fantastic opportunity to change the lives of many disabled people through free college education, skills development and work experience placements.

With only two months to recruit a large number of disabled learners for the January 2017 intake, Sparrow FET College contacted the popular talk radio station, 702, to see if they could help market the opportunity. On November 10th 2016, Melanie Malema featured on the John Robbie show and spoke about the huge recruitment drive to attract applications from disabled learners, who were interested in pursuing a career in Business Administration and End-User Computing: “This college, what it stands for and the opportunities its business model has adopted, all aim to make a meaningful difference – not only to the students but to a country that is in desperate need of a range of critical and scarce skills.”

To date, twenty-eight disabled learners have been enrolled onto the IT End-User Computing Programme and fifty one disabled learners have been enrolled onto the Business Administration Programme. All the disabled learners will gain an NQF Level 3 qualification by the end of the year. In addition, the work experience placements and the Sparrow FET Job Coaches will support the students with their transition into full time employment. Many of the students have come from disadvantaged backgrounds and traveled a great distance from Limpopo province to study at Sparrow FET College.

Thank you 702 and John Robbie for helping Sparrow FET to recruit 79 disabled learners to Sparrow FET College; it will be a life changing experience.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 and have passed Grade 12 (Grade 9 for Installation of Floor Coverings), you may qualify for FULLY funded learner-ship. The college provides SETA-accredited full qualification and skills programmes that are rated between NQF Levels 2 and 5.

Automotive Repair & Maintenance NQF 2

Early Childhood Development NQF 4

Installation of Floor Coverings NQF 2

Professional Cookery NQF 4

Sports Coaching NQF 4

Fluid Power Hose Assembly NQF 2/3 (Skills Program)

Contact us today:

Tel: +2711 673 4410 /19  Email: academics@sparrowschools.co.za

We are still reaching out to companies to accommodate our learners for their work experience placements. All students have stipends so there is no requirement for the company to pay a salary. For further information, contact marywebber@sparrowschools.co.za

Disability image - 702

 

When Afrika Mohapi was left unable to speak after a terrible car accident, no one could ever have imagined how far he would come…

In 2015, Sparrow FET student Africa Mohapi was involved in a serious car accident that almost killed him and left him hospitalised for 2 months with no ability to speak  and severe brain injury. It was uncertain at the time, whether or not he would be able to lead a normal functioning life again.

This was not the 1st time Africa experienced a huge obstacle in the way of his life and career. In 2006, Africa landed his dream job working for Edcon Limited – the retail company based in Johannesburg, where he was involved in Talent Acquisition for the Human Resources Department.

‘I chose to study and pursue a career in HR, as I love to interact with people and help them to solve work related issues.’

For seven years, Africa thoroughly enjoyed his work at Edcon; he was involved with assisting the manager, auditing, training and interviews. However in 2013, when the company was struggling financially, Africa was retrenched.

For two years, Africa was unemployed and he spent his days applying for jobs and attending interviews but the work he was offered was through agencies, which meant work was based on commission, rather than a salary, so it was not a secure way to earn a living.  

In February 2015, Africa was flung out of the passenger seat of the car and suffered severe brain injury, which left him unable to speak and bed bound for 2 months. Yet it was not only his head that was hit. Africa’s confidence took a severe knock; he felt unsure of his abilities and was clueless about what to do next.

It was Africa’s Speech therapist who informed him about Sparrow Schools’ FET College and encouraged him to apply. In November 2015, Africa started the I.T. End User Programme. Although he struggled during his first month at Sparrow; with the help of the facilitator, Mr Banda who engaged and supported Africa, he slowly settled in and his confidence grew.  

‘’I was learning new things everyday and things were slowly turning around.”

After completing his six month theory at Sparrow FET College, Africa was placed at the Spar Central Office and he has just completed his six month work experience placement. The success of Sparrow’s FET model is combining the theory with the practical work experience; Africa was able to apply everything that he learnt at Sparrow to the workplace setting, including creating templates and spreadsheets for Spar’s HR department.

“I would advise anyone who is unsure whether to apply to Sparrow FET College, to go for it! It is so important to combine learning and work experience and Sparrow provides so many opportunities. I would not have ended up working at Spar if it had not been for Sparrow FET College.”

If you are a young person between the age of 18-35 and would like to gain life enhancing skills to help you enter the workplace, please get in touch: +27 11 673 4410. Visit our FET Facebook page and website for further information.

Please email headoffice@sparrowschools.co.za  if you would like to find out how to get involved with sponsoring a course to tackle youth unemployment and gain B-EEE points at the same time.

Floor Installation Students Give Back

“Although there is often sadness and disappointment at The Johannesburg Children’s Home, there is also joy and hope. There is a constant renewal of all that is good in life and windows of hope are always there to open and look out of.” – Joan Rubinstein, Johannesburg Children’s Home Director, 1983 -1994.

BEFORE (3)

As the world continued to celebrate the life of the great Nelson Mandela in the month of July, on 19 July 2016, the Sparrow FET College’s Installation of Floor Coverings students dedicated their time to helping renew the Johannesburg Children’s Home. Through the invite of one of the FET College’s corporate funders, Kevin Bates, the students spent two days installing carpets at the child and youth care center.

students wor

“It’s amazing that the whole city is supporting those in need. It’s even more incredible that we have these young people who also face challenges coming here to give back and help those in need,” says Johannesburg Children’s Home Director, Annette Brokensha.

pose

Despite this being an opportunity to do good, it was also great practical experience for the students, which in turn boosted their morale. “It was great for the students to come here and get some real work experience. They also got to see one of the former students working at Kevin Bates, I hope that will help motivate and encourage them,” says Installation of Floor Coverings Facilitator, Wayne Hendricks.

Students work
Thabiso Mbele training the students.

Thabiso Mbele, who is now a permanent employee at Kevin Bates was part of the Installation of Floor Coverings  programme in 2013.  “It’s a great feeling for me to be able to help the students that are coming behind me because I’ve been down that road.  I’ve realised how important it is to have someone with experience giving you a hand. I’m contributing to helping improve their chances of getting employed,” says Mbele.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

ECD Students Ready For Workplace Experience

Various research has taught us that the emotional and social development of young children has a direct effect on the overall development of a child and the adult they grow to become. It is for this reason that the Sparrow FET College and the Deutsche Bank have been heavily invested in training those who want to enter the field of Education, Training, and Development, specifically within the sub-field of Early Childhood Development.

Since the inception of our Early Childhood Development programme  in collaboration with the Deutsche Bank in 2014, we continue to successfully train and produce qualified young professionals in the field, some going on to start their own initiatives.

On June 2016, the Sparrow FET College’s Early Childhood Development programme’s candidates completed their six months, theory and practical experience at the College. All 19 candidates have been successfully placed across different ECD centres around Johannesburg to complete their six-month workplace experience which will commence on 1 July 2016.

[WATCH]

Enrollments for the January 2016 intake have already started. Contact our admissions desk on 011 482 4410 or email academics@sparrowschools.co.za to book your assessment.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook for regular updates.

The Sparrow FET College awards candidates

Staying true to Sparrow’s vision, we have ensured  that we equip young people with the capability to earn a livelihood through training in scarce skills. As stressed by the FET College’s Operations Manager, Melanie Malema in the organisation’s 2014 annual report, the College has “developed a programme that as opposed to mere training for the sake of training, promises to address skills shortages that characterise local industry.”

IMG_3641_72223
Graduates and facilitators in Installation of Floor Coverings.

On 6 May 2016, the Sparrow FET College hosted its second graduation ceremony to award students from the 2014 groups across the different programs offered by the College. The graduates who were awarded included groups from the Automotive Repair & Maintenance, Fluid Power Hose Assemblies, Assistant Chef, Welding Application & Practice, Furniture Making and Installation of Floor Coverings.

IMG_3651_97440
Duduzile Seroka, Palese Ntsodi, Asia Khomba, Hope Galela and Zandile Siyaya proudly show their Assistant Chef certificates.

In attendance were various industry partners and SETA’s who have collaborated with the College to ensure that the vision of equipping  young people with skills is realized. These included representatives from Spar, Mercedes-Benz, Merseta, New Tank Designs, FP & M, Everwood, and FITA. The ceremony was also well attended by the pupils with support from friends and family.

IMG_3654_97523
Proud moment for students and their flooring industry training Director, Patty Vermaak.

“On behalf of the College, we would like to thank the parents for entrusting your children to us. Thank you to the facilitators for their dedication, thank you to the SETA’s for their help with registrations. We also thank our industry partners for continuing to accommodate our learners,” said the Sparrow FET college’s Client Liaison, Mary Webber.

Canze rises above terrible accident

In June 2013, Diyoko Canze (32) was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident, leaving him critically injured. He was hospitalised at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and had to undergo therapy. Canze is a father to a five-year-old son and prior to the accident, he was planning on marrying the mother of his child.

Prior to the accident, he was in a stable job and also holds an IT certificate from Torque IT. His life took a completely different, the accident resulted in speech deficits and noticeable physical defects. He was referred to the Sparrow FET College by his therapist and was enrolled into the End User Computing programme in November 2015.

Diyoko

After joining the FET College, Canze was referred to the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust’s Occupational Therapist (OT). This was after it was found that Canze had trouble writing as a result of the injuries incurred following the accident.  After undergoing assessment, the OT found that it was best for Canze to make use of typing on a computer within exam periods to enable timeous completion, as well as confidence in his own abilities and overall performance.

Writing aid

Since joining the programme and consulting with the OT, Canze’s speech and writing abilities have improved tremendously. This was thanks to the keyboard and handwriting aid that were provided specially to accommodate his disability. “His progress has really been phenomenal. He’s passionate, he knows why he is here and his heart is fully into it,” says the End User Computing Facilitator, Steven Banda.

Follow the Sparrow FET College on Facebook.