Boland College has launched a few new initiatives over the years at their various campuses to ensure that our students obtain the best education and opportunities possible. A recent addition to these initiatives has been the WIL (Work Integrated Learning) Department. The launch of this brand new and innovating department has ensured that Boland College is now on the forefront of education in action, as the slogan states.
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is a strategic priority to Boland College. This view arises from the fact that the phase following the theoretical training of a student is a key aspect to ensuring that the respective students are prepared for the working environment and trained in the field they studied.
The WIL Department had their official launch on 17 September 2014. This was presented in the form of a business breakfast with Stellenbosch campus as the host. The purpose of the Department Launch had been three-fold. Firstly it had been an opportunity to thank current host employers for their participation and support in the WIL project. Secondly the aim of the day was to introduce WIL and their functions to possible host employers by highlighting the benefits of partnering with Boland College. Thirdly the launch had the function of sharing Boland College’s strategic objectives with regards to WIL and the aspects regarding WIL. With financial support from the National Skills Fund (NSF), Boland College is able to finance a limited number of payments to the identified students for a duration of 18 months, which marks the practical period required for N4-N6 students.
This had been a beautiful morning on Stellenbosch campus. What made this event special was that the students from the National Diploma Hospitality and Catering N5 group, together with their lecturers and Ms Susan Loubser (Program Manager) all got involved in making the most scrumptious treats and preparing culinary delights for guests. Students hereby got the opportunity to showcase the talent we have on our campuses. “This was a perfect opportunity to show the industry what our students are capable of and also for our students to build on their experiences” said Susan.
Two students that had been placed through the WIL Department also shared their testimonies with the guests. Michelle Davids and Bonisile Kondile both highlighted how through the WIL initiative they had been able to gain relevant work experience that will enable them to apply for their National Diplomas. Bonisile echoed that the opportunity given by her employer might have never realized if it had not been for the support of the WIL Department. .
“We are excited about our students entering workplaces as WIL candidates and then being offered permanent jobs even though that is not the main aim of WIL,” said Ms Wendy Adams (Vice Principal: Innovation and Development.) She added: “What is even more exciting is that what started as placing students for practical experience has led to valuable partnerships, employment and additional exciting projects where host employers further add additional skills to our candidates. We look forward to taking these partnerships forward and rolling it out as large scale networking events and showcasing our successes at all our other sites of delivery”.
We would like to thank all host employers and staff of Boland College who took the time to participate in this event. We look forward to hosting more of these networking opportunities.