Is an education institution deemed successful based on the quantity of students who complete their studies and graduate?

Not according to the Central Johannesburg College for Public Further Education and Training Principal Motsumi Makhene.  “We measure our success as an institution based on the employability of our students at the end of their training at the College.  As a Sector and perhaps one should include the Diploma programmes at the University level, we face the daunting task of young people exiting our institutions with a certificate in hand and facing limited prospects for employment and experiential training opportunities required to complete their credentials” says Motsumi Makhene.  “As a College, we have a backlog of former students from 2002 who have yet to acquire the 18 month experiential training requirement to apply for a Diploma.  Not only does the qualification become obsolete due to the long gap, but the employment prospect in the relevant field of study diminishes.”

The Central Johannesburg College, Centre for Employment and Entrepreneurship Development (CEED) commenced operations in 2006 and offers a variety of internationally recognized workforce development programmes to address curriculum shortfalls and assists students and alumni in becoming employable.  The CEED model presents an innovative solution to youth unemployment by creating economic participation opportunities for students directly at the College through the internship and incubation programmes and externally with industry.  “CEED is our cooperative education arm that is designed to further advance Government’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) goals through partnerships with public and private sector employers to increase opportunities of learnerships, internships and employment for our students and alumni” states Makhene.

Noting the limited absorption capacity of industry, the Centre offers talented students with programmes to develop inherent entrepreneurship skills. CEED is mid-way through its first Enterprise Outcomes based Programme (EOP) where 102 students and alumni went through a rigorous training and assessment selection process to identify real talent.  Six finalists have begun the EOP programme which has adopted ‘Innovation and Opportunities in the Green Industry’ as a theme for 2010. The finalists will be placed at successful SME’s for mentorship, coaching and experiential training before participating in a Business Plan Competition that offers seed funding and comprehensive incubation support. “The Entrepreneurship Development Unit is perhaps the most exciting function of CEED. Innovation is key to our approach and the College seems to attract highly enterprising youth with the right spirit for our programmes, and what better place to be than in Johannesburg where enterprise opportunities abound,” states Koki Kassaye, Workforce Development specialist.

CEED is located at the Parktown campus of the CJC with satellite units at four CJC sites.  “As CEED, we are honored to be based in a historic heritage house, which was once home to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, author of Jock of the Bushveld.  During Heritage Month, we will commemorate the 100 year anniversary of this building and will launch the sponsorship drive for the Green Retrofitting Initiative to rehabilitate and improve the spatial design of the house to create a vibrant Centre” says Kassaye.

The Central Johannesburg College, Centre for Employment and Entrepreneurship Development offers a dynamic opportunity for Public-Public and Public Private Partnerships and assists the private sector in improving their BEE ratings.  Prospective partners interested in the exciting undertakings of the Central Johannesburg College may contact CEED at 011 642 1993 or to explore opportunities for collaboration and BEE credits.