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SA faces career guidance challenges

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A perennial issue facing young people across the world is what career to pursue – and many learners are misguided by their parents and teachers.
This is according to Sean Jones, MD of black-empowered artisan training company, Artisan Training Institute (ATI), who says: “In South Africa there are huge efforts by NGOs, industry and government to address not only the poor levels of basic education but also career guidance. There are many examples of programmes to uplift school facilities, teacher’s skills, and headmasters’ leadership abilities.”
However, career guidance remains a poorly-developed competence in our society, he says.
As a result, most young people want to rush head-long to enrol at university, unaware of the myriad of other possible career choices in, for example, sales, advertising, computer programming, web site development, social media marketing, hospitality, banking, or vocational training.
Industry can play its part by engaging with progressive organisations such as Kagiso Trust, TISO Foundation, The Maths Centre, Protec or the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation as examples, to develop scalable career guidance tools to assist youth in their decision making, Jones believes.
“Small efforts like this would not only assist South African youth, but also potentially alleviate the pressure on universities. Many graduates struggle to find employment post degree completion, whereas learners who followed a specific vocation do much better at securing gainful employment coupled with valuable work experience.”
The Artisan Training Institute (ATI) has prepared a career guidance video for the engineering trades that will be available on YouTube, its web site, and distributed to organisations working with schools.