Communication skills vital
There is an increasing and urgent need for English and business communication skills in commerce.
Thuthuka, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) transformation initiative, has accordingly partnered with LanguageWorks, a language and communication skills-training organisation, to equip prospective chartered accountants from disadvantaged backgrounds with efficient business communication skills.
"The partnership is part of the Thuthuka Small Practices Project's holistic programme designed to prepare BCom graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds for the workplace," says Natalie Zimmelman, Saica's project director for transformation.
The graduates are currently placed in small accounting firms for training while studying part-time towards a Certificate in Theory of Accounting (CTA).
On earning their CTA, the graduates become eligible to write Saica's chartered accountants qualifying examinations in 2009.
Kim Homer, a LanguageWorks trainer, says: "There is often a lack of awareness among the less privileged about corporate culture and etiquette. We strive to equip these commerce graduates with communication and business skills, thereby helping them understand how such skills mesh with business culture."
LanguageWorks aims to ensure that the graduates are made familiar with business communication skills such as: report writing, presentation and study skills and business language.
The programme is a manifestation of Saica's quest to drive its innovative Thuthuka Small Practices CTA and Workplace Readiness Skills project, funded by Fasset and launched recently with the object of training disadvantaged BCom graduates in small accounting firms.
Saica plans to expose more graduates to the LanguageWorks language and communication skills training to equip them for entry into the business world.