One year later, hard-of-hearing individuals are employed by iLearn and Altech Netstar through a Business Administration programme and training.

CAPE TOWN – In 2017,  iLearn, a South African learning solutions company which offers a range of learnerships, short courses and digital learning solutions partnered with Altech Netstar, a company focused on vehicle tracking and recovery industry demonstrated that it’s committed to employing people with disabilities.

A year later, both organisations have employed several hard-of-hearing men and women after a year-long training and development programme.

The Business Administration programme was facilitated by iLearn.

“All sectors have a role to play here. Employing people with disabilities needs to be a fundamental part of a company’s objectives and high on its list of priorities,” said Richard Rayne, the chief executive of iLearn.

The NQF Level 3 Learnership programme trained learners on the best way to use the onboard cameras to monitor and report on daily activities, particularly those that relate to the safety and security of drivers, as well as the 350 000 commuters transported every day. This operation forms an integral part of the fleet management systems of one of the country’s largest bus operators.

Netstar’s group managing director, Pierre Bruwer said his organisation recognised that for individuals with a sensory impairment, their other sensors were often heightened, more astute and so compensate. In this case, hard-of-hearing people have an impeccable visual ability and are naturally perfect for this role.

“We are excited that we’re able to employ all 11 learners from the programme and give them the opportunity to put their training to good use, and in doing so, increase our in-house skills base,” Bruwer says.

The past 12 months have not been without challenges, but that it was all made easier by programme mentor, André Harington. Harington provided the team with training support for the duration of the course.

“The learners exceeded our expectations. I am honoured to have worked with this team, they have truly bloomed and we are all very proud of their accomplishment,” Harington adds.

Janelle Ramsami, one of the recently qualified monitoring agents, said she felt like she had come full circle thanks to the skills development programme and her subsequent employment at Netstar.

“Some people think of deaf people as incapable, but through this programme, we have proven them wrong. We’ve bridged the gap between able and disabled people, and knowing we can make an equal contribution to society is inspiring,” Ramsami said.