The Federated Employer’s Mutual (FEM) assurance company is giving back to the industry and the country by sponsoring the education of selected learners. SHEQ MANAGEMENT learned more about the scholarship at the A-OSH Expo.

FEM returned to the annual occupational health and safety (OHS) exhibition, A-OSH Expo, in May. The organisation, which has been operating in South Africa since 1936, provides workmen’s compensation to the construction industry.

“Our presence at A-OSH has been to get the FEM brand out there. Many construction contractors aren’t aware that they have a choice for workmen’s compensation. FEM works under license to government and offers merit rebates to companies with good health and safety practices. These companies can get up to 50 percent of their premium paid back annually. We also make use of a network of private South African hospitals to treat patients,” explained FEM marketing and communications manager, Herman Enoch.

FEM currently provides services to the majority of companies in the construction industry. It has been involved in A-OSH for four years and returns each year to interact with the visitors.

“The A-OSH Expo traditionally attracts all the OHS personnel from construction companies. There have certainly been more feet this year. Generally, the construction industry is focusing more on health and safety. As a result, A-OSH gets more exposure and is now attracting more senior personnel to the exhibition,” Enoch stated.

“This is good, as buy-in from the whole company is needed in order to have an effective health and safety system,” he added.

The FEM Education Foundation partnered with the Make a Difference (MAD) Leadership Foundation to offer the MAD Leadership Scholarship, which formed a focal point of the exhibition.

This is a full scholarship offered to South African students from Grade 7 to 12. It covers the cost of private schooling and university fees, along with any additional costs such as boarding and textbooks.

Learners with an academic performance of more 65 percent, a good comprehension of English, a strong value system, leadership qualities and an involvement in community service activities are encouraged to apply.

The learner must come from a household with a combined income of no more that R25 000 per month. Applicants go through a rigorous testing process, which includes written exams and interviews.

“It is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Learners have the chance to get the best schooling and attend the best universities. The FEM Education Foundation is looking for overachievers; learners with leadership qualities and above-average grades, who really standout from the crowd,” Enoch explained.

“The Foundation will look for the best private schools and universities closest to where the scholarship recipients live. During the course of the scholarship, learners need to maintain their grade average. They are allowed to study any degree of their choice. The scholarship is aimed at benefiting the industry and country as a whole,” Enoch concluded.

Applications for the MAD Leadership Scholarship for 2019 close on June 30.

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