Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
AVUSA Media launched the much-anticipated learnership programme, meant for unemployed disabled and previously disadvantaged people, at their headquarters in Rosebank last Thursday.
The programme, to be funded by the company and Mappp-Seta, will focus mainly on training matriculants between the ages of 18 and 35 in the contact centre field for a period of 12 months.
Avusa Media circulation and print management general manager Clifford Fram said on Thursday that this was a remarkable moment for the company since it would once again contribute to the development of the youth.
"We are excited that what we planned over the past three years is finally becoming a reality," Fram said. "The number of applicants we received has once again proved that most youths of this country are unemployed and this means there is still much more to do.
"We know that only 20 people were selected from the 18000 applicants we received during January but Avusa Media believes that this programme will help create employment opportunities for those selected."
Avusa Media, in conjunction with Pearson, is also involved in the development of graduates in the field of journalism, who will later get employment opportunities in the group's newspapers like Sowetan and other media organisations in the country.
Mulalo Mulaudzi, 26, one of the disabled learners, said she was excited to be part of this programme because she has been unemployed since completing matric seven years ago.
"I am delighted to be afforded this opportunity and I will use it to gain the necessary skills and knowledge and, who knows, this might be the beginning of a career with Avusa Media".
This accredited programme offers an NQF Level 4 certificate in Further Education and Training in Contact Centre Operations and will involve skills programmes in business writing and verbal communication, customer services, telesales, coaching and many more.
Mulalo and the other 19 learners will also get an opportunity to get to know the ins and outs of the publishing industry.
Avusa Media head of training and employee relations Solly Mokgehle said they would try to work closely with Mappp-Seta to ensure that this initiative continues over the next few years.