Boland College was requested to participate in a College Sector Employment research project conducted by the University of the Western Cape/Further Education and Training Institute (FETI). The research was commissioned by the DG Murray Trust to research into how college students transition into the workplace in the Western Cape. Phase 2 of the research involved close engagement with a range of employers in three economic sectors: Engineering, Hospitality and Wholesale and Retail.

Most of the programmes offered by Boland College are most suited within the Wholesale & Retail economic sector, thus the decision to have Boland College respond to this part of the research.

It was in October 2013 when a decision was made that the VP: Education & Training Office will be in charge of this project. The mandate was to take 20 N6 students through this five module training course designed by FETI. The opportunity was presented to the Education and Training management team and there it was decided that only Stellenbosch and Strand campuses will participate in this pilot project. Subsequently a project team was established and 30 students (15 from each of the participating campuses) were selected. The campuses were tasked to each select 15 students from the following programmes Management Assistance, Business Management, Human Resource Management, Financial Management and Marketing Management. It was also decided to have some of our own lecturers to facilitate sessions in the course. Seven lecturers were selected from Strand and Stellenbosch campuses. They each were allocated a module in the course to facilitate, some were paired. The project was executed from Stellenbosch campus.

Different units in the college provided a lot of support to the success of this project. WIL, MCC, Hostels, Finance, etc.

The main highlight achieved through this project is that the students got valuable life lessons from it and were equipped with necessary skills to be able to be true TVET ambassadors in the world of work.
Two guest speakers from industry were arranged for these sessions, one was from W&R Seta and the other from Shoprite/Checkers Group. They each dealt with the topic ‘Career Paths in the W&R sector’.

All students were accepted for job shadowing at Checkers, Edgars, Foschini; Pick ‘n Pay and Game. We received good feedback from the retailers about these students and the students also gained a lot of exposure into the operations in a retail store.

This project was a huge success and it achieved its mandate of making sure that what we are releasing is a good product to the workplace. If I had my way I would have loved to expose all our N6 students to such a programme to ensure that when students exit our system, they are holistically developed for the transition from education and training to employment.