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The often isolated and rural nature of agricultural production continues to hamper the educational and skills development of farm workers. The median level of schooling among farm workers remains at less than 6 years, while illiteracy has been estimated to be 20% among adult farm workers. ABET opportunities are on the increase and through the work of many including SAWIT, much emphasis and resources have been made towards skills development. Much of these are structured as short course interventions. Although these
are key, SAWIT has noted that they tend to rather meet more of the farmers immediate needs for improved skilled labour than the developmental needs of the unemployed potential farmer, individual farm worker, and the long term strategic needs of the industry. And although these short and specialized courses are mostly accredited, a full NQF qualification often remains inaccessible to the individual.
SAWIT will focus on creating and supporting in partnership with other service providers, an Employment Skills Development Agency (ESDA) that serves to become a focused transformational skills development mechanism. Utilizing the ESDA, BBBEE farming enterprises will be supported in both generating Skills Development Plans and implementing these. This initiative has been branded “Project 2010” and has as its purpose to provide 2010 Learnerships/skills programmes & leadership training to farm workers, and unemployed community members as well as participating BEE enterprises over a 3-year period; funded by different SETA’s and the NSF.
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S M T W T F S 01