SAIPA, the South African Institute of Professional Accountants, is part of a skills development project by The Services Seta and Northwest Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDECT) that aims to recruit, train and place 50 unemployed graduates from the North West Province in Business Advising.
“The SME sector, especially in light of the difficult economic conditions they are experiencing, requires a lot of help with business advising,” explains Faith Ngwenya, technical and standards executive at SAIPA. “We are pleased to be part of this project on two levels.
“First, there is a high unemployment rate in the North West province – and this programme can make a difference in this regard.
“Furthermore, capacitating and placing the 50 candidates with established companies will help them acquire the skills necessary to start their own business or improves their placement opportunities as junior business advisors.”
According to Ngwenya, SAIPA responded to a request from the Services Seta for professional organisations to give training to unemployed youngsters in the North West province, by submitting the Institute’s expression of interest.
“This is the first programme to be rolled out by the Services Seta on the Business Advisory Candidacy programmes, with the goal of equipping the learners with skills that will lead to a professional designation,” she says. “To recruit the candidates, advertisements were issued in prominent media and community-based publications that are distributed throughout the province.”
The project is funded by the DEDECT through the Services Seta. SAIPA recruited the 50 learners from a pool of unemployed graduates that hold a tertiary institution degree or national diploma in Finance, Marketing or Business Administration.
The project takes place for an intense 12-month period: from February 2022 until January 2023. It comprises candidates being assessed for a general skills gap analysis and then being placed in a skills development program that will provide them with business advisory and administration abilities presented by a Services Seta Accredited skills development provider.
“This will be for a three month period, after which the candidates will be placed with employers to complete a work experience period of nine months,” Ngwenya says. “Each learner will be assigned a mentor who will guide them through the training process.”
Candidates will work toward achieving competencies as outlined in the electronic logbook throughout the candidacy cycle. They will write a professional assessment at the end of the 12-month period, and if they are declared competent, they will be awarded the designation of Business Advising Technician.
“Upon completion, candidates should be better prepared to acquire suitable jobs in business advisory and related occupations, as well as to create and run profitable businesses,” she concludes.