Mlungisi came across his first learnership by complete chance in 2006, two years after completing his Matric, with very little knowledge or understanding of what he was applying for or how learnership programmes actually work. He went on to spend a total of 5 years in the learnership system and completed a number of qualifications, including Sound Technology, Film & Documentary Production and Studio & Outside Broadcasting. During these programmes, he gained invaluable working experience through a variety of prominent players in the industry and was involved in projects like producing short films, musical recordings and directing actual live sporting events.
In 2015 he was offered a fixed term contract as a sound mixer in the News Division at the SABC, which was extended several times and recently converted to a permanent position. In his current role, he is responsible for everything audio related, from microphone placement on the presenters before a live production, to ensuring that all audio is of the highest quality.
The greatest challenges during his learnership programmes included the tight deadlines involved and the requirements to complete projects at short notice. However, these experiences provided him with the crucial skills required to work under pressure. The learnerships also afforded him the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience and to work with the best equipment in the world, which gave him an advantage over his peers when he eventually entered the job market.
According to Mlungisi, the key factor which motivated him to keep going and successfully complete each learnership was his intense passion for the industry. He goes on to add, “The fact that there was a stipend, which ensured that I always had transport and lunch money, also made the process easier and motivated me to finish the programme.”
Mlungisi believes that his dedication and reliability, coupled with the technical knowledge and experience he gained during his learnerships, were instrumental in securing him a permanent job. He advises other young people hoping to pursue a career, “Not affording tertiary education is not the end of the world. Our paths to success are not going to be the same. There are a number of opportunities out there, varsity is not the only one.”
For almost two decades, Progression has been partnering with some of South Africa’s biggest corporate companies to facilitate and manage learnerships, mostly for people with disabilities.
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