On the 07th of December 2022, in Kroonstad, Free State, Lesedi Life Training Academy held its first graduation ceremony. 25 learners from two distinct programmes were present at the event. Eight of the learners received certificates for Adult Education and Training (AET), formerly known as ABET. Nineteen others received a NQF level 3 certificate in funeral services practice.
The graduation marked a milestone for the academy as its first intake was before the Covid-19 lockdown. Managing director of the academy, Arnold Sesele indicated that the academy was born out of a funeral undertaking business. “This is our first-time providing training in the funeral sector and this has been a learning curve for us. Moving forward, our intention is to not only provide skills programmes but also learnerships so that we can upskill our community.”
Melisa Christians, provincial manager at Services SETA which funded the programmes added “I would like to encourage you today, to let this be the start of your journey and to continue on this path of lifelong learning. As South Africa, we need a skilled workforce. We are dependent on learners, youth, and employers so that we can ultimately grow our country.”
Despite the difficulties the academy and the students faced, both groups were glad they persevered. In his keynote speech, centre and logistic manager Leonard Mafokosi reflected on the difficulties the academy faced. “Covid 19 disrupted our training exercises and some learners dropped out of the programmes due to the lockdown and socio-economic factors”.
Some graduates also reflected on their experiences of the programme. “In this programme, I was struck by the importance of providing excellent customer service in the funeral industry. “My goal is to continue my studies in the same industry until I reach NQF 6”, said Motshidisi Nteo. Aletta Molebatsi also said that she had learned a lot during this funeral services programme. One of her biggest takeaways was learning about the importance of wearing protective clothing around the deceased.
Media Works’ Esther Medupe and Small Enterprise Development Agency’s Dr. Riaan Oelofse also congratulated the learners and wished them well.