Africa is yearning for vocational training. Recent research in the Southern Africa sub-region shows that more than 80% of the population prefer practical training in a particular vocation instead of classroom instruction. This is consistent with information from other parts of the world, which notes that the preferred learning styles are tactile and kinesthetic (Lackeus 2013. Harfield et al., 2009). A tactile learning style refers to learning by physically handling instructional resources, and kinesthetic refers to a learner transforming information into knowledge by observing, active involvement, and first-hand experience.
Africa’s significant business potential and high interest in vocational training present an unprecedented opportunity for skill development. Consequently, Africa Capacity, seeks to empower economically disadvantaged Africans, especially at-risk youth and formerly incarcerated persons, through vocational training. Our holistic approach integrates vocational training with life skills so that our trainees have the technical skills to perform well in their chosen vocation, as well as the soft skills needed for personal, relational and leadership effectiveness in any setting.
Currently, we provide training in carpentry, specifically upholstery. Our trainer is an experienced upholsterer with a passion for developing underprivileged youth. He also uses a multilingual approach, combining English with Xhosa, thus making it easier for participants to understand what could otherwise be abstract concepts.
In 2021, we hope to begin training in construction carpentry, crochet and sewing. This new addition should empower trainees with the skills needed to begin and sustain a successful career as small-scale entrepreneurs in the wood construction and clothing manufacturing industries.