The MRP Foundation’s Jump Start programme has expanded from the footwear and apparel sectors to include up-skilling in ceramic manufacturing to create career opportunities for unemployed youth.
Strengthening a country’s economy takes teamwork, a value that the MRP Foundation’s Jump Start Programme is passionate about. By partnering with government and local businesses the skills development programme empowers unemployed youth with invaluable manufacturing skills – helping to build South Africa’s economy from the ground up.
Ten proud students from the 2015 Jump Start Manufacturing Production course recently graduated from their production course which they completed at a ceramic factory in Johannesburg earlier this week. MRP Foundation associates and a key supplier to the Mr Price Group along with the students gathered to celebrate the significant steps the Jump Start students have taken to further their careers in the manufacturing world.
The five-month course helps close the gap between school and the working world and was specifically designed to teach students life skills while giving them a unique theoretical and practical understanding of ceramics manufacturing. The job readiness programme also includes two months of practical work experience, a huge advantage in creating more employable graduates.
Bongani Mtolo was one of the ten graduates who thoroughly loved his Jump Start work experience. Mtolo sees the programme as adding huge value in his career journey and has gained invaluable experience from working in a factory saying:
“I enjoyed the challenging and complex job of mould making and I would ultimately like to continue learning skills in this area. There’s just so much more to learn, especially in the design phase.”
The momentous graduation day shed light on the many successes of the programme: graduates acquire valuable artisanal skills; factories benefit from having access to the students who are empowered in their factory and the local manufacturing industry is strengthened from the bottom up.
This ultimately assists in building up South Africa’s economy as financial resources are spread throughout the population. In just over three short years thousands of successful Jump Start graduates in the retail and the manufacturing space have taken significant steps in helping South Africa alleviate its challenges in the youth unemployment space by becoming employed.
Natasja Ambrosio, a Director for MRP Foundation, shared in the excitement of the graduation day at the View Boutique Hotel in Auckland, Johannesburg by imparting some words of wisdom to the graduates:
“Today is a very special day. We didn’t think that the MRP Foundation’s Jump Start Manufacturing Programme would ever be in Johannesburg but we expanded from textile and clothing, based primarily in KwaZulu-Natal, into the MRP Home division and we hope to see it grow even further afield in the near future. What really excites the MRP Foundation is that business, civil society and government can work together to unlock the potential of this country, and you, as ‘Jump Starters’, are a big part of this. You can positively impact South Africa for the better.”
Back Row from left to right: Sakhile Mswane, Natasja Ambrosio (MRP Foundation), Kyle Ballard (BM Analysts) Bongani Mtolo, Ricardo Leal (Factory owner). Front Row from left to right: Karen Wells (MRP Foundation) Lorraine Mabeba, Belinda Metswi, Clearens Cengcani, Katekani Baloyi, Phomodzo Monyai.