A Social Needs Study has commenced to identify of the needs of the 104 families that make up the Droogfontein Community Property Association, as well as to develop a register of priorities. In order to carry out the Study, a team of young previously unemployed local people have been selected from within the Kimberley area and 50km radius of the solar project and undergone training and skill development to undertake the Study.
“As part of our project’s vision to build capacity within the local community, previously unemployed people with a Grade 12 certificate have received training and skills to carry out this Study,” explained Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power.
Originally 12 people were identified with the intention of taking a ‘survivor’ style approach where participants would exit as they progressed through different levels, completing exercises that required application of the skills they were taught, which would ultimately leave the research team with six of the best performers. However, the trainees were so enthusiastic and engaged in the assignment that the selection strategy was reviewed to allow for the entire team to remain for the full duration of the training.
Future work opportunities are a strong possibility, as the training service provider has undertaken to hire the best performers for future work in the Kimberley and Northern Cape area. All employees will receive letters of reference as well as training certificates of completion.
“This experience has been very positive for us and will no doubt look to include young people wherever possible in future programmes,” concluded Green-Thompson.