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Learners given taste of the future at Career Expo

Thousands of learners in Alexandra and other areas in the City of Johannesburg’s Region E were given a platform to make informed decisions about their future at Career Expo 2016 held at the Alexsan Kopano Community Centre.

City entities such as electricity utility City Power, the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO), Joburg Water and Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) were among dozens of companies, government departments and other organisations that exhibited at the expo, which was held over two days last week.

The expo was also attended by the City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Cllr Sharon Peetz.

Other organisations that took part in the exhibition included the Department of Correctional Services, distance learning institution Damelin, television production company Urban Brew Studios, advertising company Media Mark and leading law firms Edward Nathan Sonnerberg Africa and ENSafrica.

Edward Nathan Sonnerberg Africa representative Mbali Sibiya said the firm was mainly aiming at assisting children who were struggling with their subjects.

“After an assessment is done on learners, we then embark on a programme that seeks to help them where they encounter challenges. We’ve a relationship with tertiary institutions. Students there volunteer to help our struggling learners. As a law firm we’ve also been looking at children who have an interest in the legal profession and would want to pursue that,” said Sibiya.

The learners were drawn from five schools in Region E – Alex, KwaBhekilanga, Eastbank high schools and Polosho and Realogile junior secondary schools.

Francinah Mokholwane, who was representing Media Mark, said the company wanted to assist learners who had an interest in the media space.

“We represent well-established media houses. Our aim is to assist students in their field of interest. When we were at school we did not have such opportunities as these young people have. This is really about creating the desire awareness for them. There are exciting opportunities for learners in matric.

“A 12-month internship is offered to those with an interest in our industry. Once that process is concluded, there is an opportunity for students to be absorbed in Media Mark,” said Mokholwane.

City of Johannesburg’s Ephraim Pooe, who co-ordinated the expo, said this was Region E’s approach to addressing youth unemployment.

“There’s a high rate of youth unemployment in our region. Many young people don’t have qualifications. We’re tackling these challenges head-on. Over the past two days we’ve been targeting Grade 9 learners. When interacting with companies here they can look at what’s happening in the market. Our agencies here are also offering bursaries,” said Pooe.

He said the response was overwhelming. Plans are afoot to make the exhibition an annual event and hold it in a bigger venue to accommodate more learners.