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A vast array of career options was exhibited at the Soweto Career Day and Expo, with City entities, private organisations and colleges hosting stalls.
WHEN 17-year-old Ntsakiso Mabasa learned that she could pursue a career in nature conservation,she was delighted; but gettingthe opportunity to volunteer at Johannesburg Zoo was a dream come true.


Future vet: Ntsakiso MabasaFuture vet: Ntsakiso MabasaMabasa, a Grade 12 learner at Diepdale High School, was among about 2 000 students who attended the annual Soweto Career Day and Expo held at the Orlando Communal Hall on 4 and 5 May.

“Getting the opportunity to volunteer at the Johannesburg Zoo will open doors for me going into the future. This will also provide me with valuable knowledge and experience required by the industry.”

A love of nature prompted the ambitious Mabasa, who comes from Diepkloof, to opt for a career in conservation. “I am a nature conserver. Animals and the jungle fascinate me,” she said.

Nathi Mvula, the educational specialist at the zoo, said there was a shortage of professionals in the industry. “We need more zoo keepers, tour guides and pathologists to fill the gap.”

Veterinarians are in demand at the moment.

“Most professional animal doctor curriculums are science-based. Programmes are usually comprehensive, inter-disciplinary, and they change continually to prepare animal doctors who wish to pursue diverse career paths within the veterinary profession.”

He said courses required in the field included neuroanatomy and clinical neurology; animal health and disease; cell biology and genetics; and host agent, and defence.

Universities are on hand to give career adviceUniversities are on hand to give career advice“We are pleased that there are young people who are interested in pursuing some of the available opportunities.”

Patrick Luvalo, an 18-year-old from Kwa-Bhekilanga High School, applied to study hospitality management at Monash University in 2012.

“I thought hospitality was only for females, but today this expo opened my eyes. I have learned that there are a lot of opportunities within the hospitality industry,” he said.
The Orlando West resident dreams big: “I would like to work overseas after completing my studies,” he added.

The expo is an initiative of the City of Johannesburg in conjunction with Career Inc. It is taking place for the seventh time since it was first held in 2004.

At the expo, City entities, employment agencies, universities, colleges and youth structures have stalls where they can give learners and the unemployed information about various careers and job opportunities.

Those taking part in the expo include the City’s emergency management services and youth directorate; the Joburg Zoo; and the National Youth Development Agency, Gauteng city region department of labour, Association of Black Actuaries, Negotiated Beneficiary Company, Boston City Campus and Business College, and National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa.

KabinelangCareer expo a success, says Phemelo Kabinelang, operations manager in the City's youth directorateWearing a variety of schools uniforms, the learners moved from one stall to another, sourcing information about their career interests. Exhibitors shared information about possible career opportunities available within various fields of work.

The operations manager in the City’s youth directorate, Phemelo Kebinelang, said the expo was a runaway success. “Since we started our partnership with Careers Inc we [have been proud of] ourselves, having played an instrumental role in guiding young people to make crucial career choices.”

Kebinelang said it was important that young people took up careers that would ensure they became active participants in the economy. It was of paramount importance that they ventured into marketable careers as this would ease the congestion of unemployed graduates.

“We hold career workshops regularly in schools throughout the city and the country, to prepare young people who are still in school to make the correct career choices. Our partnership with the City has been very fruitful interms of educating and imparting knowledge to the youth,” said the director of the Soweto Career Day and Expo, Kgupi Gunguluza.

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