Western Cape Network on Disability believes that companies should focus on skills rather than stereotypes when it comes to PWD’s Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Western Cape Network on Disability believes that companies should focus on skills rather than stereotypes when it comes to PWD’s Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

EduPower aims to empower economic advancement for PWDs in light of National Disability Rights Awareness Month

By Murphy Nganga Time of article published Nov 23, 2021

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Cape Town - In light of National Disability Rights Awareness Month, EduPower Skills Academy is set to offer People with Disabilities (PWDs) with a Learnership programme aimed at supporting the economic advancement of PWDs in South Africa.

According to EduPower, of approximately 3 million people who live with disabilities in South Africa, only 1% have jobs.

Given the obstacles faced in terms of employment, Western Cape Network on Disability Coordinator, Natalie Johnson said the challenge arises from the negative attitudes PWDs have as incapable of contributing to society.

“It is estimated that unemployment among persons with visual impairment is as high as 97%, and this is quite unfortunate because the challenge arises from the negative perception of PWDs as incapable of contributing to society. The lack of access to quality basic and tertiary education for PWD also adds to PWD being unskilled.

“We believe that by focusing on skills rather than stereotypes, companies can access the still untapped pool of talent of persons with disabilities because the diverse skills, points of view and abilities will have several positive effects on business and will improve the organizational capacity for problem solving and innovation.”

The learnership provided by EduPower will be a 12-month structured learning programme that will lead to a nationally recognised qualification that is registered in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Along with the 12-month structured learning programme, theoretical training will be provided, as well as practical work experience that will be directly related to an occupation or a specific field of work.

Given the alarming statistics of unemployment amongst PWD, EduPower Skills Academy Executive Head of Sales, Sean Sharp believes that the best way to support the economic advancement of PWDs in South Africa is through skills empowerment that focuses on what people with disabilities can do rather than what they cannot do.

“The Learnership programmes will provide PWDs with an accredited qualification and this will significantly improve their employability allowing them to build careers and make a positive contribution at work and in society.”

“Through our training, practical work experience, mentorship and our unique self-development programme, our PWD candidates will acquire the skills that will help unlock career prospects that they never dreamed would be possible.”

“Everyone is equal in our training and that’s why we no longer see any of our learners' disabilities, only their abilities. Through our learnerships we develop the whole person so they have the skills and the confidence to go out and make a career for themselves,” said Sharp.

For more information on the requirements, visit EduPower for more details.

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