The Engen Computer School’s proud record of making a tangible difference to the lives of its graduates continues with 41% of the 2023 graduates either securing employment or being accepted onto learnership programmes.
The Engen Computer School offers members of the South Durban community free introductory-level computer skills training, covering 8-unit standards of the National Certificate: Information Technology: End User Computing.
Since its inception in 2009, it has frequently boasted a waiting list of unemployed school-leavers who reside in South Durban and are eager to upskill themselves.
The most recent 4-month course commenced in May, with another 80 local residents capped at a graduation ceremony on 24 August, 2023.
Course convener and training director, Sheryl Casalis says that prior to completing the course, 10 students secured employment and learnership opportunities.
And proving you are never too old to learn new skills, two 63-year-old men and two 68-year-old women completed the course thanks to the patience and care of the facilitators.
Since 2009, the Engen Computer School has capped 2 851 people, providing them with a basic computer skills qualification aimed at boosting their chances of finding employment.
Wentworth resident, Shaune Vernon secured a job before completing the course.
“The course gave me a deeper understanding of computer programmes and with my new skills I can now set up budgets and do PowerPoint presentations,” says Shaune, who works at a preschool and dreams about opening her own school one day.
“For anyone who hasn’t done the course, I highly recommend it as you need computer knowledge for virtually all job sectors these days.”
Equally excited about securing a new position, Nokukhanya Princess Qoza found employment at Badelile Primary School whilst completing the course.
“The Engen training course helped me with time management, which is a very important skill in any working environment,” says Princess, who resides in Umlazi. “Anyone still thinking about enrolling on the course will not be sorry. The course facilitators are excellent and when you have computer skills and the right knowledge so many new doors and job opportunities open to you.”
Devina Reddy secured a learnership with a global market research company whist completing the course.
“The Engen Computer Course really benefitted me as it helped to expand my skill set and access different applications with ease,” comments Devina. “I can now perform certain tasks at a faster rate with more efficiency.”
For Davina, the most exciting part of the course was learning and grasping different aspects of the computer on a weekly basis.
“I also really enjoyed interacting with the people in my class, which made the whole experience fun.
“The course opened up new doors for me as I went from being a person who did not even know how to turn on a computer to someone who uses the computer daily, which has changed my life and helped me grow as a person and an employee.”
Course convener, Casalis says she is pleased to see how many graduates have found jobs over the years or had been accepted onto Learnerships as a direct result of their training, with 12 leaners who graduated in May 2022 successfully completing their learnerships at the Addtech Development Solutions Systems in July this year.
“The Engen Community Computer School training makes a tangible difference to the attitudes of the people who attend the course,” adds Casalis.“Many arrive feeling hopeless and not believing that they have the ability to learn how to use a computer.”
Engen’s head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Dr James Nyawera extended congratulations to the latest graduates.
“Our 80 latest graduates all deserve a big round of applause for their effort,” comments Nyawera.
“At Engen, we believe that continuous community upskilling will ensure resilience and readiness in today’s everchanging and demanding new digital world.”
While matric and age criteria are not prescribed, most students who attend the school are aged from 20 to 40.
“The Engen Computer School has a proud history of giving graduates the knowledge and confidence to go out and seek jobs that would otherwise have been beyond their reach,” continues Nyawera.
“As a caring and responsible company, Engen is humbled to play a small role in positively changing the lives of community members who reside in an area close to Engen operations in South Durban.”
Engen champions nine of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4 – Quality Education, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Engen is a long-time supporter of education in Durban through its Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS), which seek to address South Africa’s key skills shortages in the engineering and technical fields, thereby contributing to the economic growth and transformation of the country.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the EMSS programme offers additional Maths, Science and English tuition every Saturday to under-privileged learners from grades 10-12 at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Hillview High School and Umlazi Commercial High School.
Operating for over 30 years, the EMSSs measure of success is an annual matric class that consistently surpasses the national average of successful learners and learners who matriculate with a bachelor’s pass.
The 2022 EMSS matric class attained an 97% overall pass rate, versus the South African national average of 80%.