Skills hub for trainee accountants


19 July 2012

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel launched a business hub and skills programme for unemployed accounting graduates in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.


He said the initiative would go a long way to addressing the shortage of accountants in the South African economy.


“[This] brings together a range of stakeholders who will contribute to increasing skills, creating jobs and supporting small business development.”


Through a partnership with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica), the initiative would provide training to unemployed accounting graduates, to enhance their practical skills and workplace readiness.


A total of R6-million had been set aside by the department of economic development for the first year, in which 50 graduates would be trained.


The second group of graduates would start at the beginning of 2013.


The first intake would all hold BCom Accounting or equivalent qualifications.


They would be trained by Guarantee Trust in life skills and technical skills, with simulated real work in real companies.


Graduates to work at business hub


Saica would set up a business hub offering back-office support to black entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of about R10-million.


Graduates from the programme would work at the hub, providing accounting support to the businesses.


This would also be done through a partnership with the new Small Enterprise Finance Agency.


Fifteen of the graduates from the programme would be placed at the hub and the rest in various companies across the country.


Patel said the business hub and skills programme would help the government’s efforts to create five-million jobs by 2020, as set out in the New Growth Path.


“As we celebrate Mandela Day today, we must recognise that it is this kind of public interest role that we need more organisations to play, as it contributes towards the kind of society that we are striving for,” he said.


Saica CEO Matsobane Matlwa said training would bridge the gap between educational qualifications and what the industry needed.


“We are committed to collaborating with government in ensuring that all South Africans can have an opportunity to really participate and increase the economy of the country, by ensuring that they have a decent living,” he said.


Matlwa said Saica’s strategic partner Softline Pastel would fund the set-up costs of the business hub and provide accounting software.