Meta Skills: The Building Blocks of Workplace Performance

What are Meta Skills?

MetaSkills are just a grouping of skills that enable us to implement other skills. Think of it like the foundations on which you build your skills house. The quality of this foundation will ultimately determine the size of your house.

At POPUP, we compiled these ‘skills’ into competency statements. These statements define a learner’s capacity to make a positive contribution to the workplace – our key objective.

Meta Skills Competency statements:

  1. I can lead myself.
  2. I can communicate effectively.
  3. I can solve problems.
  4. I can contribute to a team.
  5. I can function effectively in a system.

As you read these, you may recognise that the implications are far-reaching. Consider this. What would change in your organisation if each of your employees could conform to these five simple statements?

Why are they essential?

This is the value of MetaSkills. They take a holistic view of a learner’s ability to effectively implement all the other skills they have mastered, in the real world. The classroom, and often even the assessment of competence, consider the learner’s capacity to execute a task in isolation, even with workplace-based learning protocols(WBL). In reality, however, these skills are deployed in teams, in the context of a larger organisation where we expect staff to learn on their feet, take ownership and show initiative, all while communicating effectively to ensure synergy is maintained.

This is a tall order for any worker, not to mention a first-time job entrant.

Our Approach

To alleviate these constraints, and better prepare learners for the world of work, we specifically equip our learners with these Meta Skills to improve their outcomes. We first invest in a strong foundation of the value, character, and dignity of each learner.

Thereafter we take an integrated view of Meta Skills to equip our learners, not just to find jobs, but to be successful, and self-reliant as they navigate the rest of their skills journey.

Exciting new Developments

As part of our ‘Can I function effectively in a system?’ competency, we are proud to announce that we have partnered with TOC for Education. It is a foundation started by Eli Goldratt, author of ‘The Goal’, to teach students the value of Theory of Constraints.

This perspective adds immense value in helping learners navigate systems, bottlenecks, and constraints to growth. A significant leg up early in their career.

We are excited by the possibilities of Meta Skills in workplace performance. If you would like to learn more about how this could improve your staff productivity and recruitment practices, please reach out!

Emile Raubenheimer

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

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.

Learnerships & Host Employment

Your company can get involved in furthering the practical skills of our POPUP learners.

Essentially the learner would work within your workplace environment at no cost to your organisation besides the workspace and equipment required to complete day to day tasks, while they gain useful work experience.

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.


Select a POPUP Location:
Select a POPUP Location:
Select a Category:
Select a Category:

In cases of the wrong amount typed in by the donor, POPUP will refund the donor to the full amount deducting the banking cost incurred to POPUP within 30 days.


SnapScan is an app that lets you pay with your phone quickly, easily, and safely. Your SnapScan app uses your phone’s camera to scan a SnapCode (a unique QR code).