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Learner success story – Asanda Mbebe

Another uplifting success story to add to our ever-growing catalogue! We are so proud of Asanda Mbebe who rose above difficult circumstances and put in the hard work to earn a permanent job at global engineering company, Babcock International Group. Asanda proved herself by committing to, and successfully completing, three consecutive learnerships in as many years with Babcock and securing her appointment as a Bids Administrator in the Commercial Department.

Asanda’s story, like so many other young women in this country, involved many years of hardship and a constant struggle to survive. Growing up in the rural town of Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape, Asanda became a mother of two before reaching Matric and was forced to drop out of school to raise her kids. She eventually went back to complete her schooling and managed to pass her Matric in 2015. Being particularly passionate about her studies, she applied to go to university the following year, however her parents were both unemployed and, not being able to afford the fees, her dream of earning a degree was shattered.

Learner success story – Asanda Mbebe

In 2016 Asanda came to Johannesburg in search of work. Although it was difficult at first, she eventually managed to find a job but it was an extremely challenging environment and the working conditions were very poor. Despite the difficulties, she remained in the job until a friend told her about the benefits of learnerships and advised her to apply for one. She started out doing a few programmes that were advertised as “learnerships” but did not include any practical working experience.

Another challenge Asanda faced, and a rather surprising aspect of her story, was when she found out for the first time, at the age of 24, that she had been living with a disability all her life. In the process of applying for her learner’s licence, she failed her eye test three times and immediately went to a doctor who confirmed that she had no vision at all in her left eye. In some ways Asanda feels grateful for not finding out earlier about her disability because she thinks it would have affected her confidence and stopped her from pushing herself to do better.

Asanda believes that everything changed for her in 2020 when she came to Progression for the first time. She explains, “I felt like I didn’t improve anything until I applied at Progression for a learnership and I got an opportunity to study and work at the same time.” She was selected for a Business Administration NQF3 learnership and was placed at Babcock for her practical experience. In line with Babcock’s learnership strategy of growing learners over a few years, Asanda was advanced through three successive learnerships, ending with an Office Administration NQF5 qualification earlier this year.

After successfully completing her third learnership earlier this year, Asanda was offered the long-awaited full-time position at Babcock. She believes she has grown immensely through the learnership process and the support of her mentor. “Whatever I learned in class, I had to apply in the workplace, and my mentor also helped me to improve my skills and knowledge by giving me research and presentations to do, and then giving me feedback,” she says.

Asanda confirms that it wasn’t easy to study and work at the same time, particularly during exam time when the pressure was intense with pre-exam tests, assignments and work deadlines. However her determination and her dreams of a better life for her kids motivated her to keep pushing in order to succeed. Asanda believes she has acquired so much over the last few years. “I have gained experience, passion and strength and I am looking forward to doing great things in the future,” she concludes.

Congratulations to Asanda on this excellent achievement and a big thank you to Babcock for their continued support and unwavering commitment to the values of skills development and transformation.

5 Dec 2023 13:48