Preparing youth for jobs

2016-04-26 06:00
More than 200 Grade 11 Pupils at Mondale High School will benefit from an initiative aimed at developing youth and encouraging them to make smart career decision. The programme will run for the next 10 weeks.  PHOTO: Samantha Lee

More than 200 Grade 11 Pupils at Mondale High School will benefit from an initiative aimed at developing youth and encouraging them to make smart career decision. The programme will run for the next 10 weeks. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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An initiative aimed at encouraging young people to make good life and career choices has come to Mitchell’s Plain.

Learn to Earn, a project by MIET Africa, began at Mondale High School with the hopes of encouraging more than 200 Grade 11 pupils.

A career development project, the objective is to develop soft skills and vocational skills preparing them for life after school.

MIET Africa is a non-profit organisation with a key focus on youth development in the SADC region.

The organisation hosts various projects and initiatives throughout this region, one of which is the Learn to Earn.

Learn to Earn is a career development project with the objective to develop soft skills and vocational skills with high schools learners preparing them for life after school.

The 10-week project will see a session once a week and began with the introduction on Thursday (21 April) last week.

Thandi Joy Henkeman, provincial project coordinator for MIET Africa, says they focus on schools in underprivileged areas.

“This is our first School in Mitchell’s Plain,” says Henkeman.

So far, the initiative has been taken to 12 high schools in areas like Hanover Park and Mfuleni.

Henkeman, a lawyer by profession, says she would have chosen differently had she had access to this course when she was making decisions about her career.

“I was earning good money but I was miserable. Now that I am working with children I enjoy it so much. I would have chosen differently if I had this workshop,” she says.

The organisation has offices worldwide and are based in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Kwazulu-Natal.

At the moment there are only two people working on this initiative in the Western Cape.

The programme has three modules focussing on building your brand and choosing a career, studying further and starting a business or getting a job and then preparing the pupils for life at work.

“The first module is all about building ‘brand you’ and finding your career, the second module focuses on encouraging entrepreneurs so that they can assist in job creation or finding a job so we have serious job interviews and then we prepare them for life at work. We speak about conditions of the workplace and legislation,” says Henkeman

This is also the third year of the project. The initiative has been sponsored by Absa Bank for the first session and will be sponsored by Barklays in the second session, says Henkeman.
“Education and business have a shared interest – ensuring that young people are adequately prepared so that they are able to contribute to society and participate in the economy as productive and responsible citizens. Yet South Africa’s education sector struggles to address the many barriers to learning confronting the youth, leaving business and industry struggling to find appropriately skilled young people to join the workforce,” she says

“Of particular concern are the thousands of South Africa’s high school pupils that leave school ill-equipped to make suitable career choices and without the necessary ‘soft’ skills to play a meaningful role in the workplace. In the words of Jamie McAuliffe, we need to change ‘the age of youth unemployment’ into ‘the age of youth opportunity’.”
Henkeman says a quote by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher sums up the full nature of this initiative, and is a phrase she uses to start off every session. “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”
If you are interested in getting involved with the organisation, email Henkeman on

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