Seven Engen sponsored bursars proudly received their graduation certificates at the Work4You Spring Stakeholders celebration in Salt River on October 24th. Cape-based NGO Work4You offers crucial work-training opportunities for persons with cognitive disabilities, significantly boosting employment of these young adults in the formal labour market. Engen has supported Work4You for the past 6 years. Over the past three years, 32 Engen sponsored bursars have benefited from this initiative, many of whom have entered the work place.
Eleven bursars are currently being trained and will graduate in 2019. Lynn D’Alton, Work4You Operations Manager and occupational therapist, says Engen’s commitment has allowed the organisation to dramatically increase their impact on young adults with intellectual disabilities, who may otherwise never have afforded the training costs. Work4You focuses its attention on people with intellectual disabilities aged 18 to 30, acting as a bridge between the end of special needs education and supported employment in the open labour market. D’Alton says they boast high commercial employment rates, thanks to their skills and personal development programme, which is delivered by a team of professionals.
To date, says D’Alton, 111 members have been placed in the open labour market. Of the 21 bursary candidates that graduated in 2016 and 2017, 19 have contracted employment. “We are very positive that the results for 2018 will be as successful as previous years. This is a success rate of 90.5%”. Engen Corporate Social Investment Manager Adhila Hamdulay says the company is fully committed to supporting people with disabilities.
“We know this is a key area of need, and are humbled to play a part in seeing these young people gain relevant work experience and life skills, and then hopefully permanent jobs,” adds Hamdulay. It is Engen’s support has really enabled Work4You to continue advancing the employment of youngsters with intellectual disabilities in the open labour market, says D’Alton, adding that increasing interest and need for their services has led to the development of a social franchise model. “We hope to use this to expand our impact across South Africa, and we are grateful to Engen for helping us get to this point,” she adds.
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