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Future environmental health practitioners given a leg up Print E-mail
10 July 2017

The City of Johannesburg’s Environmental Health Department is currently giving a number of students from various academic institutions around Johannesburg valuable workplace experience through its Work Integrated Learning Programme.

The students are being hosted by the City’s various regions to support access to quality and relevant integrated training interventions as well as career and skills development opportunities.

The programme, which has been running for a number of years, is aimed at students who are required to undertake practicals to complete their qualifications.

Joe Shikwambane, the Department of Health’s Deputy Director of Integrated Policy, Planning and Research, says the City is working with the University of Johannesburg, Wits University and a number of nursing colleges to give students in their second and third year of study experiential learning.

“This is a great way to gain valuable job experience,” says Shikwambane. He says, in addition, the department also hosts trainee nurses and medical students.

Some of the students who have gone through the programme have now been employed by the City. “The City has a great partnership with academic institutions. The institutions tell us how many students they would like us to host during the holidays. We then deploy those students to the various regions of the City,” says Shikwambane.

He says the programme helps to motivate students. Through the programme, the City is able to identify top performing and hardworking students. This, Shikwambane says, makes it easier to identify those suitable for recruitment through the City’s recruitment process.

University of Johannesburg student Obed Sithole, 20, who has been placed at Region F’s Department of Environmental Health Office, is looking forward to “absorbing” as much information and knowledge as he can from the programme.

Sithole says he chose environmental health as a career path after he was disturbed by the excessive littering he saw in the inner city when he first moved to Johannesburg. “I chose this career because I want to help change the mindset of people and reach out to them about the importance and benefits of keeping a clean environment,” said Sithole.

Fellow University of Johannesburg student, 24-year-old Mpho Masemola, says: “At university, we are taught the theoretical aspect of environmental health. But here we are, doing practicals. We have the opportunity to experience what being an Environmental Health Practitioner is all about.”

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Last Updated on 11 July 2017