The Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see the organisations working together to support and create new jobs in the country’s growing chemicals sector.
The MoU, which will span a period of 36 months, will include the provision of the SABS’s world-class conformity assessment services to SMMEs that form part of CHIETA and the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Entrepreneurs for Traction training programme.
The programme, which is hosted at UJ’s Johannesburg Business School and Centre for Entrepreneurship, is also supported by a R5 million grant from CHIETA that is aimed at developing and training these SMMEs within the chemicals sector.
Through the MoU, CHIETA and SABS can support all alumni from the Entrepreneurs for Traction programme with testing, certification, and training services, ensuring longevity of the programme and growth of small businesses within the chemicals sector.
“CHIETA is excited to work with a world-class standards organisation such as the SABS. We undoubtedly have a common goal of working towards the growth and transformation of our economy. This will assist us in achieving our mission to facilitate skills development, education and training through innovative solutions for sustainable livelihoods. Through this new collaboration, more than 100 SMMEs will be supported to grow their enterprises and create new jobs thereby helping to address the problem of high unemployment in the country,” says Yershen Pillay, CEO of CHIETA.
“We cannot train for the sake of training as the workplace is shrinking and opportunities are few and far between. CHIETA is therefore focusing on entrepreneurial skills to grow the number of SMMEs and startups so that training interventions are accompanied by enterprise growth. CHIETA’s collaboration with SABS comes at a time when unemployment in South Africa is extremely high and more support is needed for enterprises to grow and create new jobs. The SABS stamp of approval will lead to increased competitiveness, new export growth opportunities and new local business opportunities for SMMEs in the chemical industries,” adds Pillay.
The SABS and CHIETA have also agreed to share knowledge, expertise and best practice regarding standards and compliance in the chemicals sector. By facilitating information exchange, the MoU will help create a more conducive chemicals business environment.
The Entrepreneurs for Traction SMMEs have met the programme manager and the project will be underway soon.