Empowering the Next Generation

by Team MDS on Apr 09, 2024

Empowering the Next Generation

In the heart of South Africa's industrial landscape lies Mossop Leather, a company that's more than just a tannery; it's a beacon of hope and a pioneer in promoting quality education and sustainable development. Embracing the United Nations' sustainable development goals, Mossop Leather has embarked on a transformative journey through its innovative Leatherprint initiative, aimed at reshaping the future of the leather industry

At the core of Mossop Leather's initiatives is the Workplace Skill Program, a groundbreaking initiative designed to nurture the next generation of leather innovators. This program offers young, unemployed South Africans the opportunity to gain education, work experience, and a valuable skillset in the manufacturing sector. Through both unemployed learnerships and work-integrated internships, Mossop Leather is changing lives and shaping futures.

The unemployed learnerships, funded by the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), provide learners with fundamental and core models, with practical training conducted on the factory floor. The program has seen remarkable success, with fifteen students deemed competent in 2020, ten of whom were subsequently employed by Mossop Leather in March 2021. Many of these learners have progressed to Junior Manager positions, illustrating the program's effectiveness in nurturing talent.

Similarly, the internship program, also funded by SETA, places students who have completed a national certificate level 6 into Mossop Leather for practical training. Boland College, a local institution, supplies three students per intake. Upon completing their 18 months of training, these students enter the job market as competent potential employees, with over half finding permanent placements after their training with Mossop Leather.

In a country where unemployment rates are high, initiatives like Mossop Leather's Workplace Skill Program are crucial. By providing inclusive and equitable quality education, Mossop Leather is not only addressing unemployment but also promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. This commitment is reflected in the company's workforce, with 38% of employees under the age of 34, a percentage that continues to grow year-on-year.

Mossop Leather's Leatherprint approach invites stakeholders from across the fashion and industrial supply chain to join hands in creating a positive impact on social, economic, and environmental change. This approach aims to connect every part of the supply chain, from retail and brands to chemical suppliers worldwide, fostering a network where opportunities flow freely, leading to better business decisions and economic growth across the continent.

Through its Leatherprint approach, Mossop Leather hopes to achieve several key objectives, including training, education, and understanding of the leather value proposition; access to funding and capital opportunities; masterclasses on leather for technologists, graders, and quality assurance offices; building brand reputation while educating consumers; and rejecting fast fashion in favor of a better working world.

Creating such a network requires great connectivity throughout the industry, and Mossop Leather is dedicated to fostering these connections to ensure a brighter, more sustainable future for all.