Our youth are the future of this country, and we need to help them make the most of their talents whenever and wherever we can. We need to develop a generation of young people who can really make a difference to the wider community as well.
Safire focuses on investing in young from people from a very early age, starting with primary school pupils. Our Safire scholarship programme pupils are given the opportunity to attend some of the best schools in KZN. This programme, which is run in conjunction with leading educational institutions such as Cordwalles Preparatory School, Michaelhouse, and Maritzburg College, sees these young pupils being educated and mentored until they have matriculated.
In addition, Safire has two in-house youth programmes, namely the Safire Learnership and Safire Internship programmes.
Safire Learnership programme
The Safire Learnership programme was launched on 1 February 2018 and offers unemployed youngsters with tertiary qualifications an opportunity to complete a 12-month learning period with Safire. This provides them with invaluable practical experience and insight into the corporate environment and allows them to work closely with Safire’s industry experts in several fields. The seven learners that graduated from the 2021 and 2022 Learnership programmes all became permanent employees of Safire on completion of their Learnership. In addition, the thirteen Yes4Youth programme candidates became permanent employees after the programme ended at the end of February 2022. We currently have five learners at Safire, seen here (from left to right), Tarryn Bentley, Phumzile Dube, Denroy Bloem, Priyanka Singh, and Andiswa Nene.
Safire Internship programme
After completing twelve months as learners, during which time they complete the FETC in Short Term Insurance NQF L4, the candidates could 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 (Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority). All learners and interns receive a stipend every month.
Our three 2021 interns became permanent employees when their Internship ended at the end of March 2022.
Thereafter, because we had identified a need for marketing, data analytics and software development interns, three suitable candidates were selected for the 2022 Internship who had qualifications in marketing and software development. Two became permanent in February 2023 and one pursued a career overseas.
Currently, we have six interns in the fields of marketing, governance, finance and HR, all with tertiary qualifications. One intern, funded by Safire, is completing an INSETA-funded qualification in Information Technology. They are seen here (from left to right): Nkanyiso Chonco, Timika Maharaj, Owami Mbhense, Sherice Pillay, Tamia Pillay, and Jabulani Mciza.
“Our investment in these promising young people involves far more than simply inviting them to spend time with our full-time employees,” says Megan Stella, Chief Operating Officer at Safire. “All youth programme members have the same benefits of working at Safire as full-time personnel, which has a significant impact on the company. We are extremely proud of the diverse practical educational opportunities these young people experience during their time at Safire. It provides them with invaluable insights into our industry, so that they have the opportunity to grow and learn, and find a rewarding career path that suits them.”
In addition to its youth programmes, Safire encourages its staff members to further their studies, and has enabled several to complete their tertiary qualifications. Training courses at Safire’s own training centre are offered to staff on a regular basis with both internal and external trainers, and 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.
“At Safire, we are committed to helping people achieve their maximum potential, and we hope that other companies will join this drive to make a difference to our country’s youth,” says Megan Stella.
We wish our Safire Learnership and Internship programme candidates well for their time with Safire.