Durban South people inspired by Engen’s free computer-skills classes

Durban South people inspired by Engen’s free computer-skills classes

- Engen in Durban South have been giving free computer classes for 10 years

- They have inspired and helped many over the years, to achieve their dreams

- It is their honour to play such a significant role in peoples lives and they will continue to help people around them

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It has been 10 years that Engen has transforming lives in South Durban. The free computer skills training Engen offers, is instilling student across the age spectrum with confidence and knowledge. The training is equipping these learners to secure jobs that would otherwise never would have been possible.

“Engen has created a future for us all,” graduate Sandra Matthys says of the initiative, which has seen Engen sponsor training to the value of R2 618 784 per annum.

The Community Computer Training Centre, according to Brian Ngcongo, a student, has brought “life and hope to the community”.

Nine units of the National Certificate is provided by the centre. This is introductory-level computer skills. Information Technology – End User Computing.

The criteria is that all applicants must be unemployed school-leavers and residing in the Durban South area.

Majority of students are between the ages of 20 to 40 years old. When applying, age does not play a factor and a matric certificate is not a requirement.

Since its inception, the course has already upskilled more than 1 700 people. This figure speaks for itself showing the primary objective is securing employment.

Keeping track of everyone is very difficult, so statistics are incomplete. In the past two years at least 77 student have secured jobs. Some have been accepted into learnership programmes. 12 Students found jobs during their training last year.

Training director of Added Advantage Acedamy, Sheryl Casalis, provides the training and has done so since 2009. The cost for one student on a two four-month courses is close to R15 000, which Engen pays for. The intake for the course is for 80 people, reaching +- 160 students every year.

“The competency rate for students is between 94% and 96% by the time they complete the course. They become computer literate individuals able to work independently using the most common computer programmes utilised in offices today,” she says.

May sees the end of the current course, with the second course commencing in July.

There is always a waiting list as the centre is well known in the community says Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager.

There are many people, like graduate Ngcongo, who could never afford this type of training. Thanks to Engen, these students are now looking towards a bright future.

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“Most of us have matriculated, although the course also caters for those who haven’t. But what we all needed was this boost.

“I cannot thank Engen enough for supporting our dreams, and giving us this platform to help us realise those dreams,” he says, applauding the professionalism, friendliness and patience of all the centre staff.

“You believed in each and every one of us, and gave us 100% commitment,” adds Ngcongo.

Fellow graduate Fayrus Moola hails the course as an “essential community upliftment project” that instils confidence and assurance in students, changing the course of their lives. “Engen’s efforts to uplift this community are much appreciated,” she says.

To play such a significant role in changing lives in the Durban South community, where the Engen Refinery is situated, it according to Hamdulay, has made Engen proud and humbled.

“With poverty and unemployment rife in South Africa, Engen is cognisant of the fact that the government cannot be relied on to provide the solutions alone. As such, we are committed to stepping up and doing the right thing”

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