ENGAGE* Programme: South Africa

Empowerment & Capacity Building Network for Global Trade Unionists & Labour Activists

Five Months Training Programme for Participants from Africa, Asia, South and North America & Europe, 1 July 2013 – 30 November 2013

ENGAGE Graduates SA 2013


Workers in both the formal and informal economies as well as trade unions are faced with rapid economic and social change. As yet, adequate regulatory and protective frameworks have not been found to meet the challenges imposed by the varying forces of globalisation.


The current world economic crisis urgently requires the development of alternative policies and rules based on universal human rights, international social justice and democratic self-determination. However, to turn these policies and rules into reality a strong voice representing the interests of workers is needed.


Therefore ENGAGE helps labour activists and trade unionists to acquire additional knowledge and tools enabling them to take an active part in public debate and the process of policy formulation and implementation. The Certificate Course “Labour Policies and Globalisation” constitutes the core of the activities of ENGAGE.

The cause of the decade-long decline in the wage share and the requirements for a wage-led recovery path will be discussed and analysed during the training. The participants will jointly develop strategies to enforce decent work conditions along cross-national chains of production and to regulate financial markets in a way that promotes fair globalisation and inclusive societies.


The topics to be discussed in the framework will include:


  • Global Wage Policies & Finance
  • Trade Unions and Multinational Corporations
  • Participation in Global Governance
  • Labour & Development
  • Development Economics

Target Group


Participation of labour activists and trade unionists from Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe makes the ENGAGE training programme a truly unique international experience that offers new opportunities for global networking. Moreover internships with Global Unions, the ILO, trade unions and labour organisations in South Africa will provide for hands-on experience and insights into policy development and advocacy.


ENGAGE is part of the Global Labour University (GLU) network that has successfully established academic study opportunities for labour activists from all over the world at sites in Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe with the aim of strengthening the intellectual and strategic capacity of workers’ organisations and foster stronger working relationships between trade unions. Courses will be taught by experienced teaching staff from the University of Kassel the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany, which are all part of the GLU as well, and other guest lecturers.


Practical Considerations

Upon successful completion of the training programme, participants will receive a short-course certificate of competence


Classes: The courses will run from 1st July 2013 until the end of September 2013 at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Research Report Project: The 8-week research project will be undertaken during the weeks in October and November of 2013.


Financing and Scholarships

The training programme ENGAGE is financed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Scholarships for participants from partner countries within the frame of German Development Cooperation will be provided. Scholarships cover participants from Africa, Asia, South America and Europe.

The scholarships will cover the following:


  • Accommodation as well as costs associated with the Research Project.
  • Tuition
  • Language Classes
  • Medical Aid (for non-South African students)

The flights to and from students’ home countries have to be paid for by the participants or an organisation on their behalf.


Admission Requirements

  • you are a trade unionist (in full-time employment and/or voluntary involvement) or are otherwise active in the labour movement
  • you are committed to employing your new skills in labour-related issues
  • you are motivated to pass your acquired knowledge on to others
  • you have at least a School Leaving Certificate(in exceptional circumstances we can also recognise prior learning for those who do not have school leaving certificates)
  • we also encourage those with Bachelor’s degree to apply
  • you have at least three years’ labour-related work experience
  • you are responsible or will become responsible for labour-related policies in an organisation representing workers or dealing with labour issues
  • you have a good command of English, are able to express yourself in writing and willing to participate actively in courses (see below)

Language Requirements/Language Courses

You have obtained a score of no less than 60 points in TOEFL (IBT) or 5.5 in IELTS (or you have been taught in English up to your School Leaving Certificate or your BA programme).


A language course in academic English will be offered by ENGAGE South Africa.


Application Process

To complete the application process please submit the following documents (in English):


  • CV
  • Motivational letter
  • A letter of recommendation by your organisation
  • Copies of your academic certificates


For enquiries, please contact Ms Pulane Ditlhake:


Email: engage.southafrica(at)wits.ac.za

Telephone: +27 11 717 4443

Facsimile: +27 11 717 4459


Closing Date: 1 April 2013 (extended to 15 April 2013)


Please submit application documents via post or courier to:


Global Labour University South Africa

Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand

Central Block Building, Room 238

Private Bag X3

Johannesburg, WITS 2050



The Global Labour University is organising the training program ENGAGE in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


*Empowerment and Capacity Building Network for Global Labour Activists and Trade Union Officials on Global Economic Policies