CHIETA on a mission to address challenges faced by women in the chemical sector

One of its projects, the CHIETA 12-month Small Business Programme, is upskilling women entrepreneurs in business development.

FILE: CHIETA CEO Yershen Pillay. Picture: chieta.org.za/

Author: Tebogo Mokwena

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The Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) is playing its part in fighting the vast challenges faced by women daily in the chemical sector. One of its projects, the CHIETA 12-month Small Business Programme, is upskilling women entrepreneurs in business development.

Last year the programme trained 49 delegates in Tshwane and Ekurhuleni at a cost of over R1.4-million. According to CHIETA CEO Yershen Pillay, the response to the programme and the impact on individual businesses was extremely encouraging.

“We face severe skills shortages in engineering sectors in this country, which can hinder economic growth. To bridge this gap, we need to see a change in attitudes towards women in engineering – both how they are perceived in industry and how they themselves view engineering,” he said. “This course is proving to be a firm steppingstone to business growth in our vibrant chemical engineering sector.”

Several women entrepreneurs, who graduated last year after attending the course, have hailed CHIETA’s efforts as groundbreaking. Koketso Mashishi, who is the owner of Haimish skincare products, said that she has benefited from several CHIETA initiatives. She was part of the University of Johannesburg CHIETA group in 2020 and passed her Small Business Enrichment Programme.

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