Somerset West company boosts prior learning

Debbie Turner, left, managing director of Competence Performance Consulting, Chris Khoza, ETQA manager, and CPC administrator Anje Hanekom.

Nine packaging operators at South African Breweries Newlands have fast-tracked their National Occupational Qualification in Food and Beverage Packaging Operations, and will receive their NQF3 Certificate of accomplishment. Their training was funded by a discretionary employed-learner grant from Foodbev SETA.

“An accelerated learning process was developed by Competence Performance Consulting (CPC), a Somerset West-based company, and implemented in co-operation with the SA Breweries management team,” says CPC’s managing director, Debbie Turner.

“While gaining the qualification can take up to 18 months of study, using Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) reduced the timing to a cost-effective six months including the complete assessment process.

“The RPL financial investment is 30 to 50 percent less than the traditional learnership approach,” says Ms Turner.

RPL comes into its own with experienced operators who have the performance capacity gained from integrated workplace learning.

They are coached in documenting the process and are required to demonstrate their capability through a creative approach to evidence collection that does not include a cumbersome portfolio, she says adding that “it is long overdue relative to the “redress” principle of the NQF that these candidates are rewarded for the mentoring and coaching role they play in the skills upliftment of our unemployed youth”.

Their qualification means they are licensed to operate in areas where they may not previously have been eligible and equips them for enhanced responsibility.

Now that the RPL programme has been successfully piloted at SA Breweries Newlands, it is available for roll-out with selected candidates in other areas of operation, qualifications and candidate positions.