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DCD MARINE's ongoing Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme has uplifted the lives of many people from the surrounding economically-disadvantaged communities. The company's CSI mission for 2011 and 2012 focused on providing sponsorship to the top learners from seven secondary schools in the Western Cape.


"School learners form the workforce of the future but, without adequate education, their choices and opportunities are severely limited. DCD MARINE believes that by empowering these learners, we are helping to create a sustainable path for the alleviation of scarce skills," says DCD MARINE General Manager, Gerry Klos.


"We recently selected a number of top achieving girls from Hopaleng Combined School and Princetown High School, to participate in the National Education Department-endorsed initiative 'Take a Girl Child to Work Day'," says DCD MARINE's Human Resources Manager, Rene van den Heever.


"These learners received a thorough, albeit condensed experience of a typical day in the working environment. Various DCD MARINE team members presented them with a theoretical overview of the company, its departments and the responsibilities and duties of employees. This was followed by role-playing exercises that gave the learners a practical example of working life," says Van den Heever.


"By exposing learners to the economy prior to leaving school, they are provided with the foresight to make educated choices about their career path. The programme was so successful that DCD MARINE has decided to host similar events in future," adds Van den Heever.


"Not only is DCD MARINE's investment advantageous to the learners, but benefits also accrue to DCD MARINE and the industry as a whole. By equipping learners with a solid basic education, they are better prepared to enter into tertiary education and thereafter become fully contributing members of the economy," says Van den Heever.


Another CSI initiative that DCD MARINE has been involved in during the past year, is the provision of skills to a number of women in the Somerset West area. "DCD MARINE provided sponsorship to 50 women from the locally underprivileged community to participate in a learning programme at the Helderberg Community Centre. The course entails training in early childhood learning, home management, culinary skills as well as business and life skills. The centre also assists the women in finding employment in home cleaning companies and Bed and Breakfast establishments," says Van den Heever.


"The women we hosted at DCD MARINE's facilities were enthusiastic about the training they received. To date a number of them have found jobs in their areas of interest. DCD MARINE is encouraged by the potential of the programme to alleviate poverty in these communities and we will definitely consider future sponsorships at the centre," says Van den Heever.


"The past year has been extremely successful from a CSI perspective, and has encouraged DCD MARINE to identify further community-driven projects. We are in the process of selecting more beneficiary schools in the Western Cape and we have also started an apprenticeship programme," says Klos.


"We have chosen 15 school leavers to undergo a three-year apprenticeship in scarce skills and after qualifying they will either become DCD MARINE employees or they will enter the industry job market." Klos concludes.

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