08 Jun 22 News Communities South Africa

Youth training launches careers for carers in the community

Witzenburg's newly qualified care workers graduate from their training course, which was funded by Perdekraal East Wind Farm as part of its youth opportunities programme

Youngsters and elderly with special care needs are enjoying a better quality of life with the support of newly qualified graduates of a vocational course funded by their local wind farm.

Twelve students from the Witzenberg area of South Africa’s Western Cape completed the six-month Care Workers Training Programme and seven have since been offered permanent work by schools and hospices in the community.

Six months of classroom study and practical learning provided skills to care for children and elderly members of the local community in their homes

The accredited course, funded by Perdekraal East Wind Farm and implemented by Vrolike Vinkies Educare in consultation with Gratia Academic, was designed to develop both youth employment opportunities and care capacity.

Mainstream’s Jo-Anne Brown, Economic Development Manager at Perdekraal East, explained that the need was identified during the Covid-19 pandemic when there was a shortage of skilled staff to provide home-based care for children with disabilities. 

She said: "As part of our focus, we provide assistance to community-based organisations in developing programmes for the youth. This initiative is especially tailored to help community members who are ill at home and choose not to stay in a hospital, as well as learners who need assistance at school.

"This support has had a huge impact in our community. In addition to caring for children, the care workers took part in the Covid-19 vaccine drive for sick and unregistered people."

The programme, which began a year ago, included three months of theory study. Four of the students were then placed at local schools as Assistant Practitioners, while the rest of the group progressed to on-the-job training at other institutions in the area.

One of the graduates, Racheal Fortuin, said: "During the course, we got to learn how to put up a drip for a patient, take their blood pressure, change their urine catheter, treat bedsores and do first aid.

"I am grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because I would not have been able to afford a course like this otherwise. My experience with this programme not only gave me an education, but it also gave me a job after being unemployed for some time."

  • The 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm was developed and constructed by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. Now operated by Mainstream Asset Management South Africa for a 20-year REIPPP contract period, it began feeding the national grid in October 2020, generating 368,800 MWh of clean power each year – enough to meet the annual needs of 111,118 averaged-sized households.