Effective Communication as an Investment Priority for the Workforce of Tomorrow

Effective communication is of paramount importance in the modern marketplace. As one of the foundational Meta Skills it is an indicator of employee capacity to contribute to your organisation.

We take this capability for granted as a basic skill. We expect it to be addressed by the basic education environment, long before the person enters the workforce. Our data tells a different story.

We assess every learner before placing them into a program. We use ELSA for the literacy and numeracy capability assessment. The age of our average learner is just under 27.

Although, on average these learners have achieved grade 11.4 (Pink Bars), with the vast majority having a matric certificate, this is not an accurate reflection of their capabilities.

Numeracy (Blue Bars) averages out at Grade 3-4, with the bulk numerate under Grade 3. The literacy (Green Bars) average is Grade 7.

     1.     What is Effective Communication?

For our workforce to communicate effectively, the baseline is a professional command of the English language. This is critical for Health and Safety, execution of instructions, relaying of critical information, and supporting decision-making.

It then builds into more specific competence statements:

  • I understand the value of language.
  • I understand communication dynamics.
  • My verbal communication is accurate and succinct.
  • I write effectively.
  • My visual communication is effective.

These competencies require an improved command of English. Specifically in the modern South African workplace.

     2.     Our Results

We invest significant resources to improve outcomes and efficiencies for non-native English speakers to improve competence. This directly translates to their employability. The results of one such 12-week intervention are indicated below.

During these 12 weeks, the average learner improved by 2 grades in both literacy and numeracy.

     3.     Return on Investment

We deliver these services for both unemployed youths to improve employment prospects and for corporations seeking these types of interventions for their workforce. Our clients in logistics, warehousing and other labour-intensive industries have challenges with promotions to the supervisory levels without addressing these capacity constraints. This often cascades into high churn rates in entry-level positions, which in turn disincentivises investment.

Our clients that adopt an investment posture reap the benefits in culture, labour relations, and career development for the committed workers in their lower ranks. These individuals usually turn out to be great supervisors with the respect and reverence of their peers. They also become the counter-narrative that stirs hope of a different path for entry-level staff.

     4.     Shaping Tomorrow’s Workforce

We must invest in the baseline capabilities of tomorrow’s workforce. There are significant benefits to re-evaluating our posture towards our entry-level staff. The prevailing approach remains centred around their utility value as a standardised service in a competitive market driven by demand. Those progressive corporations posturing their entry-level staff as strategic competence (Human Capital) are finding investment returns, sustainability, and resilience.

It is a both-and discussion. There are compelling reasons to consider joint investment in unemployed youth in local feeder areas for future human capital needs. Many corporations still approach Social Impact as an island they wish to control. The benefits of scale through a coordinated approach with a long-term strategic capability development posture will cultivate a healthy landscape in which our economy thrives.

A rising tide rises all boats.

     5.     Changing Your Posture

We partner with corporations to catalyse and coordinate their social impact and shape their future workforce. If you are ready to invest in social assets to improve your sustainability, get in touch here or reach out to us at [email protected].

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Home-Based Care

REQUIREMENT: ABET Level 4, Mathematical Literacy NQF Level 1 

ABOUT: The Home-Based Care skills programme enables the learners to perform basic first aid and implement primary health care and frail care 

5 Weeks theoretical training at a POPUP centre, 
Monday to Friday from 08:00 – 15:00 
12 Weeks practical training at a clinic 
(Night/Day Duty – Weekdays/Holidays/Weekends) 

Hospitality Services

The Hospitality skills programme provides the learner with the skills needed to become an assistant chef and a food server assistant. These skills will empower the learner to work in any restaurant establishment, or even to start their own catering company/restaurant. 

REQUIREMENT: Minimum of NQF Level 2 literacy and numeracy 
16 weeks (Including Work Integrated Learning) 

Early Childhood Development

The ECD qualification will enable recipients to facilitate the all-round development of young children in a manner that is sensitive to cultural and individual needs (including special needs), and enable them to provide quality early childhood development services for children in a variety of contexts, including community-based services, ECD centres, at home and in institutions 

REQUIREMENT: English Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3 

Workshops of one week (5 days) per month, with compulsory attendance per programme. Practical experience at an ECD centre under supervision of a qualified (level 4 or higher) ECD practitioner as mentor 

Computer & Office Admin

The Computer and Office Administration skills programme provides learners with the skills required to be involved in the administration function in any organisation or business 

REQUIREMENT: Meeting minimum literacy requirements 
PROGRAMME DURATION 11 Weeks theoretical training at a POPUP centre,  

Monday to Friday 08:00 -15:00 
1 – 3 Weeks practical training in the business environment 

Adult Education Training

The AET skills programme is the foundation training for all learners who do not meet the minimum requirements for the accredited skills programmes of their choice and to ensure that they are ready for any skills programme. In addition, learners that already qualify to do a skills programme may also utilise the AET programme to improve their English and Mathematics while 
waiting for placement in another skills programme. 


REQUIREMENT: Meeting minimum literacy requirements 
PROGRAMME DURATION3 Months, Monday to Friday 08:00 – 15:00 

Quality Staff

POPUP also offers its skills training to corporate clients that want to up-skill their employees.

We provide training solutions such as Adult Education and Training, Occupational Health and Safety, Life skills, Workplace Readiness and a variety of soft skills to suit the requirements of the corporate environment.


Discover how your company can actively contribute to learner development through POPUP’s learnership framework. With two distinct options available, you can seamlessly integrate learner support into your business strategy:

1. Utilize a portion of your Skills Development Spend to sponsor unemployed learners on a 12-month learnership program. Not only does this initiative aid in meeting your B-BBEE targets, but POPUP takes responsibility of the recruitment, hosting, and training of these learners on your behalf.

2. Alternatively, your company can serve as a host employer for an unemployed learner. By offering them a workspace and necessary equipment, you provide them with invaluable work experience within your workplace environment at no additional cost to your organisation.
Empower learners while enhancing your business’s impact with POPUP’s versatile learnership options

Enterprise Development

We train new entrepreneurs in developing their own businesses through an Enterprise Development programme that includes both theoretical & practical training. Many of our skills programmes have an entrepreneurial focus.

You can obtain the full benefit of claiming points for ED through:

Capital outlay

Supporting entrepreneurs in training and mentorship

Involving entrepreneurs as suppliers of your business

Preferential rates and supply chain support

Tax Benefits

98% of the beneficiaries are designated groups.

Claim your financial or “donation in kind” contribution as a deduction on your income tax. 

POPUP provides a Tax Certificate to you.

B-BEEE Scoring

POPUP is a B-BEEE level 1 contributor and is a value-adding organisation.

Benefits include an additional 15 points on your B-BBEE scorecard.

POPUP is a credible and accountable organisation with good corporate governance systems.

POPUP is aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP).

Obtain maximum SED, ESD and Skills Development points for your B-BBEE scorecard.

POPUP will be able to present skills training to your lower level employees at your company premises at times and intervals suitable to your needs.  Our Personal Growth and Life Skills Programme, AET (previously ABET) and Basic Computer Training will develop and empower your staff as part of your annual Skills Plan. Obtain B-BBEE scorecard and tax benefits for Skills Development and claim your contribution back from the Skills Fund.  POPUP will measure the outcome and ensure ROI to you as a company.


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