Another 47 members of the South Durban community have had their chances of entering the workplace improved after graduating from the Engen Computer School.
The group, who enrolled early in 2020 and had their classes halted in late March by the national lockdown, are all excited to put their new skills into practice.
The Engen Computer School reopened in July and welcomed students back after putting stringent COVID-19 safety protocols in place, including reducing the class from 70 to 47 students, regular equipment sanitization, mask wearing at all times, social distancing and the installation of Perspex screens.
“At Engen, we believe that continuous community upskilling will ensure resilience and readiness in today’s everchanging and demanding new digital world,” comments Sykry Hassim, General Manager of the Engen Refinery.
“The direct impact of COVID-19 has broadened the inequality and digital skills gap in South Africa. The support of Engen in helping to bridge the digital divide and help facilitate the sustainable development of our communities is now more important than ever,” he adds.
Following the move to Level One lockdown, the second intake for 2020 has been increased to 60 students, including the 23 students who were unable to complete their course earlier this year.
To allow for social distancing, the group of 60 students will be further split into two groups.
“We are proud of our graduates who had to endure through these challenging times and are delighted to welcome our second intake of students who commenced training on 7 October 2020,” says Sheryl Casalis, the course convener and training director.
Over the past decade, Engen’s free computer skills training school has transformed many lives in South Durban, with over 2 000 graduates having their prospects of finding employment positively enhanced in that time.
“The Engen Computer School has given graduates the knowledge and confidence to go out and seek jobs that would otherwise have been beyond their reach,” continues Hassim.
The Engen Computer School offers South Durban residents introductory-level computer skills training, covering eight units of the National Certificate: Information Technology, End User Computing qualification.
Well known in the local community and almost always boasting a waiting list of people wanting to upskill themselves, course applicants must be unemployed school-leavers and reside in South Durban.
While matric and age criteria are not prescribed, most students who attend the school are aged from 20 to 40.
Adds Hassim: “As a caring and responsible company, Engen is both proud and humbled to play a small role in positively changing lives of community members who reside in an area close to the Engen Refinery.
“As such, Engen is committed to stepping up and doing the right thing, starting with paying special attention to the people in the communities in which we operate.”