Through the bpSA Education Foundation, bp Southern Africa invests significantly in initiatives specifically aimed at developing infrastructure and educational programmes in under-resourced schools. Through collaborations with various stakeholders, including the government, private sector and educational institutions, the bpSA Education Foundation contributes towards improving the quality of education in science, technology, English and mathematics, while developing a pipeline for universities.
The bpSA Education Foundation’s (Trust) flagship programme is driven through a partnership with the University of Witwatersrand on its Targeting Talent Programme (TTP). This partnership dates back to 2009 when it first was piloted.
The Wits TTP programme is aimed at empowering learners from under-resourced schools from Grade 10 to 12 with learning and study skills suited to university education. The programme outputs are commendable in that not only do our TTP matric cohort perform well above the National Senior Certificate average, they have for the last three to four years performed better than IEB averages. The programme is focused on learners from mainly rural, no fee-paying schools in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces. TTP also provide in-service training for educators so that they in turn can be able to provide support to the rest of the learners.Top students from the TTP Programme are granted full scholarships to study at Wits and University of Johannesburg. Preference is given to students who will be first generation in their families to get tertiary education.
The intention is to break the cycle of poverty in the household so that the one who succeeds in the family can be able to support the rest of the family. Upon completion of their studies, they are not obligated to work for bpSA or repay the loan required.
bpSA is also sponsoring a skills development programme for young people with disabilities in partnership with Nthuse Foundation. Nthuse Foundation is a non-profit organisation which supports children from previously disadvantaged background who have battled at school and would have never been given an opportunity in life. They are then put on programmes which will enable them to grow and reach their potential. They are equipped with skills that will assist them find gainful employment. In 2015, we supported 30 young people and spent ~R1m and in 2016 we are supporting 60 learners.
The intention is to absorb some of them to bp employment when they finish the programmes. This will also assist us in meeting the 2% target of people with disabilities.
Since 2013, bpSA has participated as sponsor in the Learner Focus Week (LFW), which is a Department of Energy (DoE) flagship project focusing on career awareness in the energy sector. The program targets High School learners from underprivileged backgrounds to enter the Science, Technology, Energy and Mathematics (STEM) fields during the winter school holidays.
In line with its long-standing commitment to education development, every year bpSA commemorates Mandela Month through learning improvement initiatives. In 2018, the organisation partnered with the SAME Foundation to refurbish a mathematics classroom at Lofentse Girls School in Orlando East, Soweto, which caters for underprivileged learners.
bp offers a number of exciting opportunities for students and recent graduates through its Graduate Programme.
The programme is targeted at students in their final tertiary year and those who have completed their qualifications but are unemployed. It empowers them with invaluable workplace skills and retains most of them at the end of the programme.Our learnership programme is a structured initiative designed to fast-track the development of previously disadvantaged individuals and give them the tools and experience they need to grow a rewarding career at bp. Learnership candidates get to work on real projects, deliver real results and learn what a career in the oil and gas industry really means.