Consortium participates in EPWP initiative to further FM skills in public sector

Consortium participates in EPWP initiative to further FM skills in public sector

MAIN IMAGE: Noloyiso Ntwana, Divisional Director Public Sector, Broll Facilities Management, Malcolm Horne, Broll Property Group CEO, JM Corporate Real Estate Solutions MD Jacob Molefe, BBCBE President Danny Masimene.

Staff writer

A local consortium is assisting the government in navigating a difficult road in managing its assets and facilities post Covid-19. Public infrastructure in South Africa, including roads, water reticulation, energy, and government buildings, are in dire need of maintenance due to several years of not being prioritised, and therefore cannot perform at an optimal level.

The consortium is made up of the Broll Property Group, JM Corporate Real Estate Solutions and the Black Business Council in the Building Environment (BBCBE),

“Facilities management is the future within the public sector, as this area has been neglected for a long time,” comments Noloyiso Ntwana, Divisional Director Public Sector, Broll Facilities Management.

Over the years, government departments have lost a significant number of skills in the built environment to the private sector. Therefore, private-public partnerships such as the DBSA and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) programme to open total facilities management opportunities is a more effective and efficient way to boost skills development programmes, such as the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

“The EPWP initiative clearly articulates that job creation and preservation are paramount, and that SMME and Enterprise Development is both a catalyst for employment and a key delivery strategy for EPWP,” says Ntwana. Skills training varies from internal staff to members of the community who are EPWP beneficiaries, and SMME development in terms of project management, painting, administration, and housekeeping.

Commenting on the recent EPWP graduates who were acknowledged in a prize-giving and graduation ceremony, Ntwana says: “We are so grateful to have provided training to such committed learners and employees during difficult times such as Covid-19 and the accompanying social frustrations. The critical and important message to our graduates is to ensure that they pursue and further their careers and skills to be fully employable.”

Malcolm Horne, Broll Property Group CEO, who opened the graduation proceedings, says: “We are thrilled at the outcome of seeing the fruit of Broll Consortium’s partnership with EPWP. The consortium is committed to ensuring that many young people are provided with skills to become employable or start their own businesses. We are equally committed to continuing to provide professional public infrastructure in South Africa.”

Graduates are also encouraged to consider various methods of gaining experience to improve their skills, such as participation in learnership programmes and volunteering, says JM Corporate Real Estate Solutions MD Jacob Molefe.

“Some may want to consider entering business incubation programmes to be mentored into opening up small businesses in the trades that they qualify in. Lastly, they need to know that this is just the beginning, and that they need to focus and work hard. However, success is possible,” says Molefe.

“It is hugely important that we pick ourselves up as a community,” says BBCBE President Danny Masimene. “As South Africans, we know the importance and the role we all play in bridging the unemployment gap by ensuring we develop more entrepreneurs by creating more equal opportunities. That is exactly what the Consortium is committed to achieving.”

Broll Consortium strives to develop collaborative partnerships with its partners by fostering a greater response from the DPWI in terms of its EPWP requirements. Its engagements in this regard include the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the National Construction Incubator, Construction Education & Training Authority (CETA), community-based organisations, the Tshwane Disabled Forum, the BBCBE Youth Chamber, South African Women in Construction, and the South African Fire Detection Association.

Innovative cutting-edge technology platforms implemented, has enabled Broll Property Group to become a leading professional real-estate services provider. “We provide our clients with peace of mind and let them concentrate on their core business,” says Ntwana. Plans for 2022 include rolling out a skills programme in real estate and total facility management through Broll Academy to bolster its relationship with the University of Pretoria.

Also on the cards for this year is Operation Siyasebenza, where the consortium will home in on critical technical skills such as HVAC, fire detection, installation and maintenance, introduction to architectural design and drafting, software design and TFMM systems, etc. “We are also looking for new opportunities in order for us to be able to employ our EPWP beneficiaries and are counting on the government to acknowledge the change that Broll Consortium is bringing to communities,” says Ntwana.

Broll Consortium represents a significant intervention on the part of the real-estate services sector in proactively promoting skills development and training. In terms of its own Sector Charter, it has committed to promote and ensure skills development within the industry. It focuses on skills and SMME development and social investment initiatives, with a specific emphasis on the local communities it operates within.

“Our youth are our hope for what lies ahead tomorrow. I am proud of the three equal partnership entities that came together with the same vision of making a difference with its vision of transforming the economy, to forge skills development, and to deliver non-traditional facilities management services by creating new incubated business hubs.

“We believe our purpose is not about property; it’s about creating employment and sustainability. We have created 1 700 small SMMEs that employ about 25 000 people. We support them by giving them work and contracts. This reinforces our ethos to try and empower local skills,” concludes Horne.

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