Innovative Practice 2017 on Employment, Work and Vocational Education and Training

Jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities following intensive developmental and career path training

Training Workshops Unlimited (TWU) is a programme initiated by Cape Mental Health, a non-profit organization located in the Western Cape province of South Africa, to provide developmental and career path training for adults aged 18 to 65 with intellectual disabilities. Each day, some 550 people experience the training and career path model of TWU, and many have gone on to find employment.

“I feel the Sunrise Special Care Centre is my second home and we are one big happy family. I can assist my sister financially and I get to do a job that I enjoy.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities following intensive developmental and career path training
Organisation:Cape Mental Health – Programme “Training Workshops Unlimited”
of Implementation
South Africa


    • Jobs created in 2014: 30
    • Jobs created in 2015: 15
    • Jobs created in 2016 (to date): 17
Of the jobs created, 60 per cent have gone to females and 40 per cent to males, and all include regular government employment benefits.


People with intellectual disabilities in South Africa face stigma and are often denied appropriate education and work opportunities.


The TWU programme offers six levels of disability:
  • Level 1: For adults with profound intellectual disability in need of higher levels of care.
  • Level 2: For adults with moderate intellectual disability.
  • Level 3: A work skills programme for adults with mild intellectual disability.
  • Level 4: A bridging and support programme providing job coaching for internal and external trainees.
  • Level 5: Supported employment, whereby reasonable accommodation and additional job coaching is provided for trainees in full-time employment.
  • Level 6: Open labour market employment, whereby all participants receive a market related salary

Beneficiaries of the TWU programme work in a wide variety of jobs, such as governments administration, construction, woodwork/ carpentry, sewing, machine operating, gardening, packaging, maintenance, retail, driving and delivery, and cleaning and domestic skills.


TWU’s total annual cost is US$398,000 and is primarily financed by the Department of Social Development at 55 per cent. Another 14 per cent comes from donations and fundraising, and the balance is generated through external sales of goods and services. Through international exchanges with service providers in Germany, the TWU model and programmes have been shared internationally.




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