- Seventeen multi-skilled machinists from Isithebe on the North Coast graduated from the JumpStart Production Programme
- Over six months, they learned core clothing production and manufacturing skills
- The programme opens doors for the graduates to improve their earning potential on the production line
WE CELEBRATED the graduation of 17 multi-skilled sewing machinists at Umhlali Country Club on 8 November. Over the past six months, these nimble-fingered graduates have been upskilled by our JumpStart Production Programme with core clothing production and manufacturing skills, as well as workplace ethics. Now, they’re ready to sew their way to a greater future in clothing and home textiles.
“The road to success is always under construction. This is only just the beginning,” said Mbalenhle Khumalo, the facilitator at Argento Trading where the machinists completed their practical training.
Mbalenhle congratulated the JumpStart Production Programme class of 2023 for their perseverance and ability to master new skills, including identifying and creating different types of stitches, how to sew garments and how to control various machines. These skills hold the potential to transform the lives of the graduates.
“I want to get a job and save some money, to open a training centre and teach sewing skills to the local people in Mandini,” said 23-year-old Mandisa Maphumulo, a mother of one.
Another graduate, 28-year-old mother-of-two Cebisile Nthangase, was volunteering at the Department of Community Safety and Liaison prior to her JumpStart training. “I learnt new skills through JumpStart, some of which were quite difficult. I didn’t know how to sew before, but now I can. I want to apply for a job where I will put these skills to good use. If I can get funding, I hope to buy my own machines, sew clothes and sell them, to support my children and to give back,” said Cebisile.
Karen Wells, Head of Mr Price Foundation, praised the graduates’ 100% pass rate. “The JumpStart Production Programme allows graduates to improve their earning potential as they can work anywhere on the production line,” Karen said.
Mr Price Foundation’s JumpStart skills development programme was initiated in 2007 with 60 candidates registered for just one programme in retail.
“Today we have seven programmes cutting across the retail value chain. JumpStart trains according to industry demand. We are constantly evolving, by identifying market needs and providing skills that are in demand to match that need,” said Karen.
Next year, JumpStart plans to introduce pattern making and sewing mechanics, which are much-needed skills sets in the clothing and textile industry.
Karen added that JumpStart is important as it connects to South Africa’s masterplan to build its textile and clothing supply chain. “Graduates acquire vocational skills. Even if they choose not to work in clothing manufacturing (cut-make-trim), they can use their skills to set up their own opportunities in dressmaking or tailoring. Their skills are transferable. This is the start of their journey, and they can take the opportunity to build their own future.”
JumpStart Programme Manager Yurissa Sawers said skills development presented opportunities for South Africa’s youth to escape crippling unemployment.
“Working with matriculants and unemployed youth is very fulfilling. As they upskill themselves, they can provide for their families and break the cycle of poverty. JumpStart changes lives,” said Yurissa.