28 Jun Safire’s investment in our youth
Safire is committed to advancing the youth of the country and creating opportunities for them in an economic climate that sees many young people struggling to cement their future. In addition to its scholarship programme for promising scholars, run in conjunction with some of the top schools in KZN, Safire extends its educational upliftment to those who have matriculated. There are several programmes running concurrently at Safire this year, namely the Safire Learnership, Safire Internship and the Safire Yes4Youth programmes.
Our Learnership Programme was launched on 1 February 2018 and offers unemployed youngsters with tertiary qualifications an opportunity to complete a 12-month learning experience with Safire. This provides them with invaluable practical experience and insight into the corporate environment and allows them to work closely with experts in several fields within the company.
After completing twelve months as Learners, during which time they complete the FETC in Short Term Insurance NQF L4, these candidates may proceed to our Internship Programme for a further year if there is capacity within the company, or they may accept full-time positions with other employers. Not all members of the Learnership programme progress on to Internship, and Interns may be selected from outside the Learnership programme. Those who stay with Safire and complete their period of Internship successfully may be fortunate enough to become permanent employees. Both the Safire Learnership and Internship programmes are run in conjunction with INSETA. All Learners, Interns and Yes4Youth employees receive a stipend every month.
This is the first year that Safire has taken part in the year-long Yes4Youth programme, which offers training to unemployed youth, who spend time at the company to gain workplace experience as well as covering 37 practical soft-skills modules during the year. Twelve of the thirteen current Yes4Youth candidates have a tertiary qualification in insurance and have been integrated into different departments as staff members, gaining real on-the-job training and mentorship from industry experts.
“We are extremely proud of the diverse educational opportunities offered by Safire, and the way that these promising individuals have gained invaluable insights into our industry. This youth support drive offers young people a way to grow and learn, and find a rewarding career path,” says Megan Stella, Chief Operating Officer at Safire.
“Safire invests a huge amount of time and energy into supporting our youth: all youth programme members have the same day-to-day advantages of working at Safire as fulltime personnel, which has a significant impact on the company. This year we have twenty-two young people in our various youth programmes, in addition to our scholarship pupils. This investment is a priority for us: we believe that it is vital to not only assist young people, but also to share with them the many facets of the insurance industry. This is not just a job – our Safire team is passionate about what they do. They understand that their actions affect people’s lives and they feel a strong sense of responsibility towards ensuring that we do our best at all times. We want to encourage these young people to feel the same sense of commitment to performing at optimal level, and hopefully inspiring them to become the next generation of insurance experts.”
In addition to its programmes for young people, Safire encourages staff members to further their studies and has enabled a number of permanent employees to complete their tertiary qualifications. Training courses are offered to staff on a regular basis, with both internal and external trainers, and our staff members also attend external accredited skills-enhancement courses. Safire is a regular contributor to the South African Insurance Association consumer education initiatives, which focus on knowledge-sharing throughout the financial services industry. As part of our mission to constantly enhance the insurance-specific knowledge of our various groups and personnel, we have our own training centre.
“We believe that we have a responsibility to help people achieve their maximum potential, and we hope that other companies will take on this mission to make a difference to our country’s youth in the same passionate way,” says Megan Stella.