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 Responsible Leadership: Learn to Earn and USB-ED

2012-03-05 00:00

One of the foremost objectives of a leader is to set a good example, which is why USB Executive Development (USB-ED) is assisting in the growth of a new generation of leaders who will use their business influence to make a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the world.
This is precisely why we have established a relationship with Learn to Earn (LtE), a skills development organisation that works with unemployed people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. LtE’s vision is to see unemployment and other legacies of injustice eradicated in South Africa through a programme that empowers the community to provide for themselves and their respective families. LtE facilitates business opportunities, job creation and access to economic ponds – which is where USB-ED stepped in.
During 2010, we saw that there was a need to move away from synthetic study-material bags so as to become a more environmentally friendly company and through word of mouth found LtE. This is now the second year that LtE is responsible for manufacturing our study-material bags. The new bags are made from 100% cotton with a hessian strap and these natural fibres which make up the product have a minimal environmental impact.
Gail Vertue, USB-ED’s logistics and administration manager, had the privilege of visiting LtE’s premises and was duly excited and encouraged to see how this enterprise “was also making a difference to people's lives”. For 2012 alone, USB-ED commissioned some 5 000 sustainable bags, which all participants in its programmes will receive. This social responsibility venture intends to “[increase] job creation, skills development and poverty alleviation,” says Gail, and indeed, the order for 2012 will provide jobs for approximately 20 households until the end of April.
LtE is a truly remarkable initiative, which we are proud to support. Since its inception in 1989 over 9 000 unemployed people from previously disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape have been trained in market-relevant skills. It recognises that people need to be given access to resources and support in order to become self-sustaining, and in a sense, leaders in their own right.
This is a natural fit for USB-ED, as the concept of training, equipping and enhancing leadership skills is a key part of our vision. If you would like to find out more about USB-ED’s work with LtE, or LtE’s objectives, please view this article  or visit the Learn to Earn website.
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