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Willowton staff benefit from work-sponsored training programmes


Find out how the Willowton Group is educating and developing their staff within the workplace, allowing them to add value, not only to the organisation, but to the communities in which they live.


Dedicated to empowerment through education, Willowton Group has generously sponsored numerous education initiatives over the years and is now focusing internally by upskilling employees at their KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng branches.

Partnering with the Production Management Institute (PMI) – an accredited private higher educational institute with more than 40 years’ experience – Willowton Group is sponsoring the onsite training of 42 employees starting in September 2017, with the second phase of training beginning in March 2018.

“We want to educate and develop our staff within the workplace as this will allow them to add value, not only to the organisation, but to the communities in which they live,” explained Shoaib Moosa, Chief Commercial Officer of Willowton Group. “It is our aim to create responsibly-equipped staff who are driven to take ownership of their positions, rather than relying on constant monitoring and oversight. The majority of participants in the programmes have no prior qualifications, and they were all incredibly keen to take advantage of this life-changing opportunity. Our eventual goal is to have all our factory staff trained across various disciplines.”

Moosa said that, by implementing these training programmes, Willowton Group is becoming part of the solution to the dire skills’ shortage crisis facing the country. “By enhancing skills within the company, we will have staff with the expertise to address other challenges within the industry, while driving growth and productivity. Skills’ development is an essential catalyst for positive change economically and socially.”

All 42 candidates have started with occupationally-aligned learnerships which require the completion of a one-year course within the relevant workplace. This NQF course includes 70% workplace practical experience with the remaining 30% involving classroom-based theory. For this, a PMI instructor will visit the branch for one day every second week.

PMI performed a needs’ analysis and have selected the relevant courses accordingly. Of the 25 candidates at Willowton Group, Pietermaritzburg, 16 have signed up for the Level 1 Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Activities Learnership with the remaining nine signed up for the Level 3 Freight Handling Learnership. At Willowton Group, Cape Town, eight employees will be studying the Level 2 Production Technology Learnership with the qualification for the remaining nine Gauteng employees still to be confirmed.

PMI’s Regional Manager for KwaZulu-Natal, Wendy Laing, said the implementation of training programmes at corporations always brought about a number of benefits for everyone involved. “I’m always excited when an organisation, such as Willowton Group, prioritises its staff like this. You can immediately see the results with an increase in production and improvement in staff morale. People feel appreciated and empowered with new knowledge and skills.”


Pictured on the first day of their Manufacturing Learnership at the Willowton Group in Pietermaritzburg are: (Back Row) Wendy Laing, Regional Manager of Production Management Institute, Thobile Msomi, Saeed Kachanga, Ashik Maharaj, Nathan Pillay, Ndumuso Memela.
(Front Row) Thembi Mchunu, Primrose Shozi, Mumsy Nene and Shoaib Moosa Chief Commercial Officer of Willowton Group.


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