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Louis Pienaar: Life After the Military

Astutis have proudly been an approved and registered partner of Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS), so you and secure funding to study with us. We’re honoured to have ensured those eligible can receive industry-leading training in health, safety and environmental arenas through our courses.


What is ELCAs funding?


Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCAs) is a funded service from The Ministry of Defence that enables currently serving and ex-service members in the armed forces to get financial support for higher level training. This funding allows our service members to continue their journey by joining the ranks of health, safety and environmental professionals.


We recently caught up with one of our inspiring graduates, Louis Piennar, who made full use of our courses – utilising ELCAs funding. 


Louis studied the NEBOSH Certificate for Environmental Management and the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals with Astutis. As a result of his hard work, Louis has recently accepted his first role outside of the military as a Safety Specialist.


For Louis, it was all about taking the commendable mindset they developed in the military and seizing the opportunity provided by ELCAs.


“I really enjoyed what I was doing with the NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate, and I wanted to expand my understanding”.


The NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management educates on the myriad of environmental issues facing organisations today, making those accredited a prized asset for any organisation needing to improve its environmental impact. Louis immediately knew


“I knew the course would help me and really enjoyed what I was doing on the Environmental. I then wanted to build on what I’d already learnt by doing the Diploma.”


The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals is widely recognised as the ideal health and safety management training course. It meticulously covers every detail of organisational health and safety – empowering those accredited with an invaluable skill set and understanding they can use to chart their own path.


“I studied for the NEBOSH Diploma in the Online format. It worked for me; it gave me the flexibility to learn when I wanted. I am an early riser, so learning rather early was always my preference, that and on weekends. 


Louis is a prime example of the opportunities ELCAs can help provide. Unsurprisingly, he utilised our courses to carve out his niche in the military and his future.


“The course enabled me to engineer a position within my current unit as the Unit Safety Manager; because I had the qualifications, I made the position for myself.


“The courses themselves gave me the knowledge I needed for my current role, and my time here has helped give me the platform to prepare me for my next position outside of the military, and I am really looking forward to it!”


Louis’ career burgeoning career is a testament to the time and dedication he put into his training.


So, would Louis recommend health and safety training through ELCAs funding?


“Absolutely! For me, ELCAs was very useful. For military personnel, there are a lot of training opportunities, and I think a lot of people underestimate the value of training to their careers. I decided three years ago that these training courses provided me with the career trajectory that I wanted. I have used up all my ELCAs points now because it was so straightforward and it was not difficult at all, to be honest. ELCAs have given me the opportunity to train, and now I am fully prepared for the next stage of my career.” 


In talking to us, Louis wanted the opportunity to share his inspiring story and showcase that transitioning out of the military is achievable and worthwhile.


“You should never underestimate yourself; don’t let doubts get in the way; if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. Failing is just the first attempt at learning! There is no such thing as failing – you just keep learning!


As I’ve touched on, I have accepted another job offer. But looking back, I never saw myself as an academic type, and through the training, I have realised what I am capable of. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and I feel much better for doing so”