Graduate Trainee Programme
In December 2010 the Office of the FAIS Ombud embarked on a graduate trainee development programme. The drive behind this initiative was the need to groom candidates for case management positions within the organisation by bringing on board law graduates. These would be graduates from previously disadvantaged communities and institutions, who displayed the most potential but would otherwise not be afforded an opportunity to gain exposure to a high performing specialist legal office. We wanted to train and empower these graduates who were fresh out of law school and had no working experience.
So with the assistance of the Law Society’s (Legal education and development) L.E.A.D division and the directors of the various law schools around the country we have been able to identify candidates for the programme. The duration of the internship is 1 year and where possible graduates are absorbed as full time employees. At the start of the year the graduates are taken through a comprehensive induction programme which includes topics on: the financial planning process, insurance, investments, retirement planning and financial services legislation. In line with the National Development Plan, the programme not only seeks to upskill previously disadvantaged individuals but contributes to the greater South African talent pool.
Ultimately we believe that this contributes to the economic development of the country as a whole. With this in mind, the programme also includes training in what is generally considered to be Soft skills, but which we believe are essentials for success. This includes: budgeting and learning to save, ethics and workplace behaviour, dressing for success, drafting a cv and preparing for interviews. We believe that the training and mentoring we have offered has enhanced the marketability of the interns. Having witnessed them taking their first tentative steps outside of their law lecture halls into a professional legal environment we have no doubt that anyone who recruits them receives well rounded, disciplined professionals. We are very proud of this initiative and would encourage other organisations to do the same.
The programme is in its 3rd year with the 4th year recruitment already underway. 21 law graduates have joined the programme since inception. 6 of the graduates were appointed permanently within the Office over the 3 years. All of the graduates have secured employment within the financial industry or legal profession.
Feedback from previous graduates
"There are not enough words to express my gratitude to you for the opportunity that you have given me to be part of the FAIS Ombud graduate trainee programme. I have gained valuable insight into the financial services industry over the past year. This internship has definitely increased my interest in pursuing a career in the financial service industry…" Nomlindo Mpongo
“The skills acquired and the experience gained through this programme will undoubtedly make a positive impact on my life going forward… Thank you for this wonderful opportunity…” Andisiwe Mahamba
“I have always said that I could not have been blessed with better first time employment. Before coming to this office I had never been exposed to any professional or office orientated working environment, I knew nothing but part time and student employment. From the very beginning, this office sought to instill in us graduates discipline and a sense of professionalism that I believe exists in very few institutions. We were taught that ”You are your own greatest Asset” - therefore your whole person should be representative of that asset, whether it be inside the office or outside it, from the way you carry yourself to dealing with personal finances. The intention is not to just serve the office for the duration of your contract, but the skills you acquire are meant to serve you right through your career. My time in this office has groomed and exposed me to all spheres of the professional world though the main focus is in the financial sector - from the etiquette of dealing with members of the public to dealing with industry players. I can now truly declare that I am prepared for the professional world.” Sinomhlobo Katangana
“Not too long ago I was a student who had dreams but did not know how make those dreams come to reality. The FAIS Ombud gave me an opportunity of a life time and I grabbed it with both hands. I have grown from a student to a professional young lady through the internship programme... “ Akona Zonke
"Being part of this programme has not only taught me how to conduct myself in a professional environment or how to interact with different stakeholders, but through it I have gained insight into the Financial Services Industry. For a person like me who does not have a financial background, this opportunity could have not come at a better time in my life. Not only do I apply the knowledge I have acquired in my work, but also in my personal life. I have now become more conscious and inquisitive when it comes to financial matters. What I appreciate most about this programme is the fact that not only has it taught me about the working environment, but I have also been equipped with life skills. For me this is an opportunity of a lifetime, one that is shaping and moulding me into the person I aspire to be in the future." Zetu Kulu
Graduate Trainee Cohorts
Graduate Trainees – January 2015 Intake
Bongi Balintulo, Nokwanda Dube, Sthando Kunene, Lindani Makhanya, Philile Kamanga, Shaylene Wood and Nothemba Sonjica
Graduate Trainees – July 2014 Intake
Dorothy Letsoalo and Sesethu Memese. Absent: Sihle Gobingca
Graduate Trainees – January 2014 Intake
Xolile Ntuli, Ntombintathu Majikijela, Anele Bilibana, Asithandile Mzana, Candice Jane, Nokukhanya Sonkwala
2013 Graduate Trainees (July intake)
Zetu Kulu, Dineo Sono, Keneilwe Matlou
2013 Graduate Trainees
Nomfundo Dhlomo, Babalwa Ntozini, Lusanda Chili, Sinomhlobo Katangana, Busisiwe Kolweni, Samantha Harvey
2012 Graduate Trainees
Thobekile Ngcobo, Bongiwe Ngesi, Charlene Naidoo, Andisiwe Mahamba, Nomlindo Mpongo, Fezeka Jona
2011 Graduate Trainees
Akhona Zonke, Zamazulu Nkubungu, Sipho Makuzeni, Sinovuyo Puzi, Oko Matshaya