The Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) is changing gears to partner with various
economic stakeholders to help transition Persons with Disabilities (PwD) as they transition from school into the labour market.
It was stated that not everyone is academically gifted, some learners are good at vocational training and SEE wants to dispel the notion that if one does not have a matric there was no future.
This was addressed during a workshop forming part of the Education for Employability (E4E) programme supported by the European Union (EU).
SEE has been holding the workshops as part of a dialogue to devise a strategy for
intervention to assist transition PwD into the labour market. To date three workshops have been held.
The latest workshop was attended by stakeholders which include the Department of Basic Education, Department of Higher Education and Training, Department of Employment and Labour, Compensation Fund, representatives from special schools and non-governmental organisations.
The E4E programme was started in 2019 and slowed down due to COVID-19 outbreak. The E4E is a programme that was designed to find ways to ensure that youth have the skills to find or create meaningful and decent employment when they transition to the labour market.
E4E is a three-model stream initiative. It is implemented by three Departments – the
Department of Basic Education, the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Department of Employment and Labour. The programme seeks to ensure the
Departments collaborate to ensure youth receive the education and skills needed for
today’s labour market.
Department of Employment and Labour Chief Director: Public Employment Services,
Esther Tloane said the low absorption rate of PwD in the labour market was worrying.
Tloane said PwD need to be given the opportunity, especially those willing and capable. SEE is an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour, established to provide job opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Supported Employment Enterprises was established in 1943 and was formerly known as Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF).
The entity has 13 factories across South Africa operating in eight of the nine provinces, with only Mpumalanga without a facility. The SEE factories are located in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Kimberly, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom, Pretoria and Seshego. The factories employ 1100 persons with disability who are supported by administration, management and technical staff. The entity manufactures office furniture, school furniture, hospital clothes, office safes and gates.