As part of an outcome-based programme to improve AECOM’s transformation objectives, a learnership programme aimed at people with disabilities recently saw a second intake of 27 successful graduates.
The learners were each awarded a certificate for completing the NQF Level 2 in Business Administration from Skills College at a special function hosted by integrated infrastructure delivery company AECOM at its Centurion head office. The certificates were handed over by AECOM South Africa MD Joe Ndala. “Our investment in this programme not only shows that AECOM is committed to South Africa, but that we are determined to make a difference in local communities.”
The learnership programme commenced in 2016, with the initial intake of 29 learners all graduating successfully, Carina Robberts, AECOM Learning and Development Specialist for Africa, explains. “We currently have a third group completing NQF Level 3 in Business Administration, which is expected to graduate in 2019.”
Apart from funding the training, AECOM also provides the learners with a small stipend, and ensures they receive at least a six-month secondment at a range of companies for the purpose of gaining work experience. “We provide a platform from which the learners can progress to achieve their ultimate goals in terms of their future careers,” Robberts stresses.
The learners all demonstrate that a disability is not necessarily a barrier, Senika Devsheel, AECOM Human Resources Director for Africa, highlights. “If you put your heart and mind behind what you are doing, you can literally achieve anything. Our highly successful learnership programme is testament to this.”
AECOM established an Educational Trust in 2017 that provides financial assistance to young women in previously-disadvantaged communities. Such has been its success that, following the receipt of about 50 bursary applications in 2017, it received over 4 000 applications from universities across South Africa in 2018.
AECOM’s supplier development programme allows beneficiaries to partake in a structured skills transfer programme, and receive loans to develop and expand their businesses. In addition, its Project Engage for the Department of Public Works aims to create a live, interactive, and robust learning environment wherein representatives from its Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) participate in learning objectives outlined by this in-house, exclusively AECOM programme.