Professional learning platform SkillsTown South Africa concluded its first deal in less than a month of operating, signing eDEAF on as their first customer. More than this, it’s a partnership that aims to break down the culture barriers between the hearing and Deaf community, making professional learning available to all and enabling employees to adapt to the ever-changing world around them.
SkillsTown is the largest professional learning platform in the Netherlands, specialising in the continuous personal development of corporate employees. SkillsTown SA has adapted this unique model for the local market, combining first world technology, capability and expert knowledge to deliver on an essential local business requirement – Skills Development.
SkillsTown is centred on a very competitive, subscription-based model, giving all employees of an organisation access to over one hundred online learning modules. The white-labelled platform can be customised to reflect the look and feel of the customer’s organisation, and companies can also create their own content quickly and easily.
The deal between SkillsTown South Africa and eDEAF was finalised late last year, with 450 Deaf students signed up to the platform in the first year, increasing to over 1000 students in years two and three.
Empowering employees with on-demand learning
eDEAF was established in 2007, and is the leading provider of Deaf Skills Development training in South Africa. As a Deaf owned, Level 2 B-BBEE company, it provides a holistic end-to-end service to both employers and Deaf learners or staff in terms of training, recruitment, ongoing support services and interpreter services. It strives to create inclusive empowerment and employment environments in order to break down the very real stereotypes that exist for the Deaf community.
“There are few communities who are as deprived of learning as the Deaf community of South Africa,” says Jesse Kotze, Chief Operating Officer at eDEAF. “This is primarily because information is not readily available in their language. However, the SkillsTown platform enables us to harness the hundreds of short courses they have on offer, and customise it for the Deaf community. Our staff and learners are delighted to be able to complete these learning modules in their own language – South African Sign Language – as well as in their own time, aiding their workplace development as well as satisfying other interests they may have.”
Maximising Skills Development spend
eDEAF have also added their bouquet of services onto the SkillsTown platform, in order to sell on to their customers. This includes a variety of fully accredited SETA learnerships including MICT SETA, Services SETA, ETDP Seta, Wholesale and Retail SETA and Hygiene and Cleaning SETA.
“This collaboration means that all eDEAF customers have the opportunity to provide a world class, innovative learning environment to their employees, while maximising their organisational spend and improving their scorecard,” says Kotze.
SkillsTown spend can be claimed against the Skills Development Matrix in categories F and G.
“This was a critical first deal for us,” adds Kevin Hardy, MD of SkillsTown SA. “Not only has it helped eDEAF with their training requirements, but it also enables SkillsTown customers to procure from a company with 125% preferential procurement recognition. We couldn’t be prouder to be associated with an organisation like eDEAF that plays a major role in the representation and development of the Deaf community locally.”