Go for Gold Education-to-Employment Programme

Overview

In South Africa today approximately half of our young people are unemployed due to educational challenges at poor-performing schools, particularly in the subjects of Maths and Science, and many high school students today who attend under-resourced schools in disadvantaged areas, struggle to achieve a Bachelor-level pass rate (the minimum requirement for admission to tertiary studies) in matric.

The Go for Gold programmes seek to address these deficiencies at various levels from education to employment; ensuring all gaps are addressed and opportunitie s taken.

Good Practice Approach

The programme was created to improve the number of candidates from disadvantaged communities eligible to study towards a technical profession and secure employment.

The programme phases are designed as skills developmental pipeline. Go for Gold aids deserving South African youth with their academic performance in Maths and Science subjects at secondary and tertiary institutions, with work experience and bridging programmes, and once qualified, the skilled graduates are employed within the Go for Gold network of partner companies from the South African built environment. The four phase model appeals to our partners because it offers multiple benefits to deserving South African youth and built environment companies alike, that when combined strengthen the industry.

The programme in its entirety is centred on the premise that in order to create future skilled graduate professionals, who also possess the self-belief to succeed, requires long term investment where the whole child is developed – i.e. both academically and emotionally.

Specific Activities

  • Phase 1 – Enhanced Education in Grades 11 & 12
  • Phase 2 – Internship: Post-matric beneficiaries are placed at our partner companies.
  • Phase 3 – Tertiary Studies: After Phase 2 they enter a Learnership or enrol in tertiary studies at a University, University of Technology or TVET/FET College.
  • Phase 4 – Employment: Participants, once qualified are employed and return to work back their bursaries and join the built environment.
Key Results

To date, over 600 students have been admitted onto the Go for Gold programme and more than 24 companies have secured graduate professionals from disadvantaged communities. In addition:-

  • 6 graduates qualifying as Civil Engineers (4 women and 2 gentlemen)
  • In Matric, one of our students achieved 100% for science and 99% for mathematics. A number of students showed a remarkable 20 percentile improvement in both subjects.
  • 100% of all Phase 1 Go for Gold students achieved an NSC pass and 80% achieved a Bachelor’s Pass;
  • On average 80% of Phase 3 Go for Gold students complete their tertiary studies in the minimum period allowed;
  • 100% of students secure job placement after they qualify;
  • Two thirds of all graduates continue to work for their sponsoring companies after working back their bursaries.
  • The life skills and leadership development training remains a major contributor to the success our Go for Gold programme as the students receive this training from Phase One onward.
  • Partner companies are able to link their support for the Go for Gold programme against their B-BBEE scorecard in the area of Corporate Social Investment, Skills Development or Enterprise and Supplier Development.
Lessons Learnt (Success Factors & Challenges)
  • Results in Maths and Science in schools are declining every year throughout South Africa.
  • Go for Gold provides much needed tuition and is appreciated by our beneficiaries. eg. a 2016 student who completed his matric stated that the tuition Go for Gold gave him helped him achieve 100% for Science and 99% for Maths. This student is currently in his experiential Phase 2 year at Stefanutti Stocks where he will determine which course of engineering he wishes to pursue.
  • Life Skills training is a vital component the success of students utilising the Maths and Science tuition provided by making them self-aware, reliant and responsible for their own interaction with Go for Gold tutors.

Which elements/tools are most suitable for replication / scalability?

The entire 4 phased model that provides a developmental pipeline through adequate academic and psychosocial support to beneficiaries, buy-in through industry partnerships is and should be fully replicable for any industry in South Africa.

The entire programme builds on partner companies’ scorecards while transforming the lives of youth from some of South Africa's poorest communities. A win-win for all