Rachel Ramawela is the receptionist at Luft Technik (Pty) Ltd in Midrand, Gauteng. Luft Technik (Pty) Ltd installs and supplies air-conditioning equipment at hospitals, data centres, shopping centres, office blocks and hotels across South Africa.

Rachel lives in Ivory Park with her husband and three children. As a result of learning difficulties Rachel left school early – to earn money – she became a cleaner.

“I was a slow learner at school. I had to do each lesson two or three times and I had a problem with spelling. I decided to leave school early. My husband always pushed me to go back, but I didn’t want to.”

Rachel joined Luft Technik (Pty) Ltd as a cleaner in 2007 “When I started working at Luft Technik (Pty) Ltd, I couldn’t speak English, read or write.”

Rachel knew she was capable of doing more and saw a role as the receptionist as the next step in her career. Whenever the receptionist at the company was off Rachel would sit at reception and help out where she could.

When her manager saw her determination they started upskilling Rachel up for the role. Her training included call centre training as well as basic computer skills and literacy, which the Media Works Accelerate programme covered.

“When the receptionist was sick, I went and sat in reception and started answering the phone. When she resigned, I asked if I could be considered for the role.”

Rachel started her Media Works training last year and has already completed Communication in English Level 1 and 2 for which she received pass rates of 88% and 65% respectively.

Luft Technik (Pty) Ltd has a policy of promoting from within. When the previous receptionist left, promoting Rachel to the role was the obvious choice.

“I am now the switch board operator. My role requires me to answer the phones and transfer calls to the relevant people. I receive goods in the warehouse, deal with the courier, book company vehicle services and assist visitors to the company.”

Rachel is progressing with Communication in English Level 3 and is due to write her exam later this month.

“Since starting the Media Works courses, I can speak English fluently, read the emails I receive and reply to them in English.”

Seeing what training has done for her Rachel, is a supporter of furthering your career through training, “I will advise anyone to go for it, because it is good and you can get a better education.”

Given the right support, Rachel would love to grow into a role in Luft Technik (Pty) Ltd HR department, “I want to work in the HR department for this company, because HR is department that looks after their employees. I want to encourage people everyday so that the company runs better.”