Resolution Circle, a training hub that partners with local industry to upskill workers, has announced a strategic collaboration with the Ergo Business Development Academy (EBDA) in order to be able to provide organisations with a comprehensive range of accredited artisanal and technical training courses that span the breadth of the qualifications spectrum.
“We had been looking for an external provider to help improve our capability in terms of offering apprenticeships. Over time, we were presented with an opportunity to work with EBDA in order to complement our traditional strength in technical training with their ability to develop high-calibre artisans for local industries,” says Gideon Potgieter, CEO of Resolution Circle.
EBDA, based in Ekurhuleni, offers various N-level courses, engineering skills programmes and short courses, and engineering learnerships and apprenticeships in a variety of trades. The Academy is fully accredited as a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college. This accreditation is with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations that operates under the auspices of the Department of Higher Education and Training. The accreditation allows EBDA to work with all major Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) as a Training Provider as well as a Decentralised Trade Test Centre.
As per the collaboration agreement, EBDA’s parent organisation will be responsible for funding the facilities and management up until May 2022, while Resolution Circle will take over the daily operations and facilitation of courses.
Work-based training for apprentices
According to Potgieter, Resolution Circle has historically had a strong presence among participants doing engineering diploma courses, which are broken down into two years of theory, and a final year of Work Integrated Learning. While the organisation was looking to cater for students at a TVET level too, it lacked the experience and accreditation in the artisanal space
Potgieter explains that apprentices typically do their trade theory at a TVET college, before going to an artisan training institution – such as EBDA – to complete their workshop-based training. Once this is done, they need on the job training at a host employer if they are to complete their qualification.
“As such, it is critical for any training centre that is involved with apprenticeships and developing artisans to have relationships with a wide variety of host employers, which are usually private corporations, but in some cases the government – be it municipalities or state-owned entities. With its established track record and recognisable industry presence, working with EBDA helps us strengthen our presence in the area of artisanal training overnight,” says Potgieter.
Comprehensive range of accredited courses
According to Piet Pistorius, Director and Academy Manager at EBDA, following changes within the structure of the organisation, they decided to look for another organisation to collaborate with. Resolution Circle was the ideal choice due to its presence in the public higher education sphere, its affiliation with University of Johannesburg, the institution’s ability to offer courses with higher NQF levels, and access to funding for participants.
The strategic collaboration would allow both organisations to combine their strengths – Resolution Circle’s experience and background in technical training, and EBDA’s proven capability in developing highly-skilled artisans.
“This is hugely beneficial for EBDA as we previously were mostly focused on qualifications with NQF Level 3 or 4, but companies were increasingly looking for training interventions that span the full spectrum of NQF qualifications. This collaboration means that we can offer our combined customer base an unmatched variety of accredited technical and artisanal training programmes that ranges from NQF 2 to NQF 8, and grow the number of participants in our programmes” says Pistorius.
The National Qualifications Framework is a system to record and describe qualifications. For example, NQF Level 3 and 4 are equivalent to their respective National Certificate (Vocational) levels(typically obtained from a TVET), while NQF level 5 is a National Diploma (also from a TVET), NQF level 6 is a National Diploma (from a University of Technology or Comprehensive University), NQF Level 7 is a Bachelor’s Degree, and NQF Level 8 is a Honours’s degree, typically obtained from a University.