Face the future with ORT SA

One of the things we can be certain of is that we are unsure of what the future holds. Moreover, futurists claim that we are preparing our young generation for jobs that don’t yet exist. How do we prepare ourselves to an unknown future and how do we make sure that our children are ready for the workplace of tomorrow?

ORT SA is an organisation that is constantly driven by these questions. It therefore seeks to develop educational programmes to bridge the projected gap of knowledge and skills required for the future. It’s vision of ‘educating for life’ has embodied the determination to reinventing ourselves over and over, so as to adapt to the changes brought by technology and the environment.

ORT SA, an educational NGO, affiliated to World ORT which was established in 1880, has evolved with the times and adapted in alignment to the requirement of the job market.  ORT SA offers STEM education (including coding and robotics in schools), Skills Development (in IT and Business Management), Enterprise Development (promoting entrepreneurships and supporting small businesses) and the ORT SA Career Hub to assist in many aspects of seeking your ideal career.

In the past two years, in response to Covid 19, ORT SA adjusted its mission statement to ORT2 Connect, so that we can continue fulfilling our mission of making people employable and creating employment opportunities. Now, with the rise in unemployment and failing businesses, it is crucial, more than ever, to continue the work of this organisation. And with the restrictions and uncertainty brought on by the virus, ORT SA has developed programmes that allow for remote teaching, learning and mentoring.

As a result, since 2019 ORT SA expanded its work to communities in Gauteng and into KwaZulu Natal, North West and Limpopo.  And the numbers speak for themselves;

Since 2019, ORT SA, in partnership with YES, placed 2434 youth in workplace experience with a retention rate of 97% and an absorption rate of 24%.  91 students in learnerships with 97% Completion rate (most students were differently abled).

Since 2015, ORT SA ran Coding clubs with more than 100 schools, building capacity in schools by training 400 teachers and reaching almost 5000 learners.

In 2021 a group of 12 Grade 11 Students (eleven of them girls) from Curtis Nkondo High School in Soweto have participated in a World ORT Young Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP) Competition and won the second place (1% away from the first place that was awarded to ORT Argentina). This is a big accolade to a school that is situated in previously disadvantaged community. This outstanding achievement is the result of providing opportunities and skills to these youth.

In 2021 hundreds of businesses were impacted by training, mentoring and networking events. The panel of mentors and the individual mentorship provided the businesses with the tools that allowed them to gain insight into the market and gain relevant business acumen. Consequently, many businesses found ways to pivot and made even bigger returns than they’d expected to.

How does ORT SA face the future to ensure up to date and relevant programmes that answers the requirements of future trends? Ariellah Rosenberg, ORT SA CEO, shares the following three tips:

  1. Continuous professional development is crucial for gaining new skills and insight into the evolving environment
  2. Keeping abreast of trends in the world and in South Africa and examining how they will impact the job market and the skills needed. (Read, Read, Read)
  3. Sharing the learning gained in every possible opportunity such as in meetings, webinars and blogs. (see below links)

Check JET Flix for all the webinars offered by ORT jet and ORT SA Career Hub: https://bit.ly/JetFlixPlaylist

Check ORT SA Blog : https://www.ortsa.org.za/blog/

What is facing the future for ORT SA in 2022?

Watch this space as we will share ORT SA work in the Green Environment Education and Skills Development, new initiatives in promoting Entrepreneurships, Digital Skills programme to be offered online (and free) and the sought-after Technology in Education Course aiming at bridging learners’ gap in Math and other subjects caused by the lockdown.