Workeracy: The New Economic Paradigm

Winning and quit

The South African youth has the potential to move away from the incapability paradigm that has been so prevalent over the last 15 years.  The youth is gaining painful insights that instead of finding jobs, they have to start creating the own work.

Workeracy[1] states that work creation starts with oneself.  A person has to recognise the skill sets he/she has and take action to commercialise those skills sets to the benefit of others who may be in need thereof.  Workeracy is the start of entrepreneurial thinking.

Without the willingness to create one’s own work, there can be no entrepreneurship.  As an entrepreneurial catalyst, workeracy does not discriminate between the so called “Haves” and “Have Nots”.  It demands that someone takes account of his or her skills and turn those skills into value.

In addition, workeracy does not care whether a person has strings of Ph. D’s or many incomplete qualifications.  However, workeracy is interested in one’s willingness to create small pockets of economic activity that could grow into large capability networks over time.

Growth Institute’s Capability Maturity Matrix™ has been designed to provide the youth with a series of steps to start a small business and to grow entrepreneurial capability over time.  The service has been designed to provide affordable and incremental support services to any entrepreneur that has a small business with an annual turnover of less than R 5 million.  The service has also been designed to support any South African who wishes to start his/her own business and who may not have access to high levels of cash to do so.

Since each business concept and entrepreneur is unique, the Capability Maturity Matrix or CapMM™ can be customised to suit specific needs.

In addition, Growth Institute’s CapMM model will make use of young, emerging entrepreneurs to help those who are about to start their own journey to economic independence.

[1] A phrase coined by Dr. Norris Dalton


The Quality Battles


There is an ongoing battle of ideas that a degree is a better qualification than a National Diploma.  There is also an ongoing battle that a University Diploma is better than any other National Diploma.

The facts tell a different story.  In addition, Growth Institute has more than 40 years’ experience in education and the institution has, first hand, observed the facts discussed in this article.

Level of diplomas

Private Institutions (such as Growth Institute and the ICB) and Universities offer diplomas at NQF Level 5 and NQF Level 6.  Both sets of diplomas are offered under the auspices of SAQA and from a quality perspective, they are on equal footing.

Private institutions (such as Growth Institute and the ICB) also offer programs at NQF Level 3 and NQF Level 4.  These programs are specifically designed to bridge the growing knowledge and capability gaps between Grade 12 and the First Year at universities.

Preparation for University Courses

Programs offered by private institutions are designed to move students gradually from high school levels towards degrees.  It is a fact that 78% of first year students at University do no go on to the second year.  In addition, only 15% of those who started in the first year, eventually finish with a degree.

Private programs allow students to get used to the discipline associated with tertiary studies.

Escalating Learning Levels

Students who do not finish their university studies for any reason, do not have a qualification that recognises prior years’ learning.  They actually walk away with nothing to show.

Programs at private institutions have multiple exit levels.  In other words, at the end of each academic level, students are awarded a qualification.  This means that even if they leave after the first year, they have something to show for it.

Growth Institute also offers students a route to start a series of advanced diplomas after they have finished their NQF 6 program at our institution.  These programs could lead to either an Honours Degree or to an MBA where experiential learning form part of those programs’ admission requirements.

Required Pass Marks

Many private institutions (such as Growth institute and the ICB) have a required pass mark of 60%.  Since these programs are assessed and endorsed by professional bodies, students do not automatically pass if their final exam mark is 59.99%.

On the other hand, the required pass mark of university courses is 50%.  Also, students who have a final exam mark between 46% and 49.99% could receive a discretionary pass mark of 50%.

From an employer’s perspective then, it is a choice between choosing someone who needed to achieve a minimum of 60% in all exams, or someone who achieved the bare minimum in an exam.

Application of Learning

From time to time Growth Institute’s clients insist to have person with degrees in Accounting and Financial management accepted on our learnership programs.  Over the years, Growth Institute has observed that some of these graduates could not master the first year and second year levels of the ICB programs.

We have also found that students who first completed the NQF 6 programs of the ICB performed better in university studies.  The reason why ICB students do better before they go to university is that they have gained some work experience and/or life experience.  They are also better disciplined in their studies than those who went to university directly from school.


Since some programs (such as those offered by Growth Institute and the ICB) are recognised by one of more professional bodies, students can start their own small practises sooner than their university counterparts.  In fact, some professional bodies award designations based on a combination of work experience and the level of the student’s qualification (which does not need to be a degree).

Meeting Scarce Skills Needs and Employability

Programs offered by Growth Institute and by the ICB are designed to meet the national scarce skills needs.  In addition, as stated earlier, a person with a qualification that is endorsed by a professional body, should stand a better chance to be employed.

Employers are not aware of the fact that the ICB programs have very high required pass marks.  However, Growth Institute have seen cases where employers reconsidered their choices between a candidate with a degree and a candidate the completed the ICB program.

Time to Enter the Workplace

On average, it takes a person with a degree up to three years to find a job.  On the other hand, students with professionally endorses lower level qualifications can start their own small practices and create their own work in line with the mandates from professional bodies such as the ICBA.

Jobs versus Work

The whole world (including South Africa) is moving towards a dispensation of workeracy[1]. This means that fewer people are willing to work for a boss.  They want to have their own little businesses and they want to contribute to the economy by employing others.

Those who think that a qualification means an automatic ticket into a job, have not yet discovered

[1] A phrase coined by Dr. Norris Dalton.

The End of the Road?

Street sign

Is not having a Grade 12 Certificate the end of the road for a school leaver?

The answer is an emphatic “NO!”

Parents and school leavers do not realise that there are tertiary routes available for anyone who have only Grade 10 or Grade 11.  In fact, there are a number of professional diplomas available that allow one to start his/her own small business after completing selected programs.

South Africa is in an age where the world is rapidly moving away from jobs towards a culture of workeracy[1].  The basic premise of workeracy is that that there are no jobs but lost of work.  Other than a job where one receives a salary or wage regardless of production, a workeracy rewards anyone who is willing to maintain high levels of productivity.  In addition, a workeracy assumes that one is an entrepreneur or innopreneur creating his/her own economic opportunities.

The fact that the world is swinging towards workeracy and away from jobs is a rude awakening for the South African youth.   Workeracy is outside the traditional view that economic growth can only be achieved through jobs.

Employers are reluctant to hire in a climate where labour laws make it difficult for them to replace dead wood with more productive staff.  This reluctance is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.  That is why the youth need to consider the value of workeracy over jobs.

The youth needs to consider the value of lower level programs that build year-on-year professional capabilities that will allow them to create self-sustaining work.  In a country with high levels of skills shortages, it is time consider lower level programs that are designed to provide broad-based access to tertiary programs.

[1] A phrase coined by Dr. Norris Dalton

Open Letter to Parents

quality assurance

This time of year the main question in the minds of Grade 12 learners is “Where am I going to study next year?”  The default response is that mainstream tertiary education institutions are the only option.

There are, however, private colleges that offer very good professionally accredited programs recognised over the world.  These programs equip students to work as independent professionals in disciplines such as:

  • Financial accounting
  • Business management
  • Office administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Hotel management
  • Tourism management

Growth Institute has designed the above programs in such a way that a student receives a qualification at the end of each successfully completed study year.  In addition, students can register as members of a professional body in their first year and receive professional credentials matching their qualifications and work experience over time.

We look forward seeing your child as a student at our college.


Announcing Project Phahamisa!

As part of the 4th Annual Career, Jobs and Entrepreneurship EXPO as NASREC, Growth Institute announces the launch of the Phahamisa!™ Project.  It is a fact that many of South Africa’s youth have incomplete tertiary qualifications and that the youth cannot necessarily find work given their incomplete qualifications.

The youth is not aware that many incomplete qualifications – especially in the Business Studies, Financial Accounting, Tourism, and Hotel Management could be converted into an alternative qualification that is recognised by international professional bodies.

In addition, the youth is not aware how to use even an incomplete qualification to become an entrepreneur.

The Phahamisa Project aims to inform the youth of alternatives and to encourage the youth towards a career of innopreneurship or multipreneurship.  The project also aims to break the stranglehold of wannapreneurship and to give the youth a greater sense of dignity and serlf-worth.

“Phahamisa” is a Sotho word and it means “Rise Up!”.  It is an apt slogan to show the youth that there are opportunities despite adversity.

The 4th Annual Career, Jobs and Entrepreneurship EXPO runs from 9 to 17 June 2018 at NASREC.  It is an initiative of the Gauteng Provincial Government.  Growth Institute will exhibit in Hall 10A for the duration of the EXPO.

Innopreneurship Grows Economies


Growth institute announces the launch of our 2018 Innopreneurship Prize.  South African innovators between the age of 18 and 35 have the opportunity to have their ideas selected for consideration.

Innovators must show that their ideas can generate work and make a difference to the South African economy.  Not all ideas are eligible for consideration.  For example, “killer” computer software applications, miracle medical machines or miracle medical cures, perpetual energy machines, the next generation of cyber-money will not be considered.

Ideas must be scale-able and innovators must show how the lives of people can be improved with their innovations.

The winner or winners will be given the opportunity to work with a well-known innovation centre to develop and commercialise their idea.  Innovations must move from ideation to commercialisation in no more than three years.

The World of Work

Time to Work

Growth Institute’s directors will be part of a panel discussion at Fourth Annual Youth Jobs, Career, and Entrepreneurship EXPO on 10 June 2018 from 09h45 to 13h00.  The panel discussion will take place in Hall 10 A at NASREC.

The panel will consist of:

  • Jacques de Villiers, CEO at the Growth Institute
  • Lynn Duke, Dean at the Growth Institute
  • Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, CFO at the Growth Institute
  • Nicky Nthabane, Director of Student Affairs at the Growth Institute
  • Isuru Jinasena of Aquila Projects (Pty) Ltd
  • Lungane Mncube from House of Thot
  • Roy Forbes from the School of Chemistry at WITS University

The panel will interact with the youth at the above Expo and address issues such as:

  • Working without a job in a disrupted world – Jacques de Villiers
  • The connection between skills, qualifications and work versus job expectations after graduation – Lynn Duke
  • The world of the Multipreneur – Lungane Mncube and Isuru Jinasena
  • Doing future jobs now – Roy Forbes
  • The world of the Innopreneur, Entrepreneur and the Wannapreneur – Peter van Nieuwenhuizen

Nicky Nthabane will be the discussion leader.

The Fourth Annual Youth Jobs, Career, and Entrepreneurship EXPO takes place from 9 June 2018 until 17 June 2018 at NASREC.