Correctional Services takes on over 900 learners

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Correctional Services has welcomed 905 youths enlisted in for the department’s 2019 Learnership Programme.

“We are in dire need of dedicated, patriotic and action-oriented young intellectuals, who will contribute to building the kind of prosperous and successful society we envisage… We want to wish these men and women everything of the best,” said Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha.

He said the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) needs to intensify the programme, which he described as one of the pillars of the National Skills Development Strategy. The programme, Masutha said, will not only to generate skills but will alleviate poverty and unemployment to keep youth away from crime and contribute, particularly, to the development of young offenders.

“We would like to employ all of you permanently, in line with our operational needs as well as the applicable appointment criteria. Correctional officials must have several personality traits in order to deal with inmates, and handle the stress of long hours in an institutional environment.

“One of the most important traits for a successful correctional official is tact, or sensitivity, in knowing how to interact with others,” he said.  

The youths were welcomed at the department’s Zonderwater Training College after having been successfully enlisted.

The learners will follow the Correctional Services’ Learnership NQF Level 4 curriculum for 12 months, with three months of theoretical learning at the Zonderwater and Kroonstad colleges and nine months of experiential learning under the guidance of mentors at correctional centres.

The Correctional Official NQF 5 qualification will commence in 2021. After successful completion of the one-year training programme in different aspects of corrections, these men and women will be armed with skills that will open up employment opportunities for them in the department.

Masutha said the DCS Learnership Programme will also contribute to alleviation of unemployment among graduates in South Africa.  In the long-term, he said, the programme will assist in the professionalization of the department and lay the foundation for a more adequately equipped leadership for the future.

The department’s training colleges in Zonderwater and Kroonstad cater for 1 032 students, with 492 and 540 students in the respective centres.

“Over the next two years (2019-2021), this programme will result in the employment of 2 064 professionals, which will bolster the smooth running of the department.

“The DCS is continuously losing experienced officials on a monthly basis, which has resulted in a serious shortage of staff,” said Masutha.

Each learner will receive a monthly stipend of R3 500. –