High Gear – an initiative to strengthen the market relevance of the Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) college system by enabling greater industry involvement in course design and delivery – has successfully launched its online learning and career guidance platform Yakh’iFuture.

Yakhi’iFuture meaning ‘build your future,’ is an interactive online platform designed to prepare students, graduates and young people interested in automotive component manufacturing careers for a real-life workplace.

The Yakh’iFuture website launched on 31 March 2022 and was specifically designed for TVET students as a complement to courses and student support services offered through TVET colleges.

“We are hoping this website can serve as a model for other industry associations to develop similar career guidance resources for TVET students,” says High Gear programme director Colin Hagans.

“Yakh’iFuture will be an ever-evolving online career experience platform that equips, inspires and connects young people to the automotive components manufacturing sector. It will enable students and graduates to complement their studies, access work opportunities, network with potential employers and work with confidence once they reach the workplace,” Hagans adds.

The youth-facing career platform will be accessible to all young people, not just TVET students. “There will be no logins required and we aim to get the site zero-rated, so even interested young people with no data will be able to use it to build their future,” says Shivani Singh, NAACAM’s commercial director.

The resource will showcase various roles in the automotive component manufacturing industry, from entry level to senior roles, as well as showing career pathways and key competencies required for each path. Students and other young people will also be able to develop and practise gamified competencies to stay sharp and bring their studies to practical life while they engage in a job search journey.

Students and young people will be able to post questions to potential employers and search for job opportunities via the platform. Opportunities from the Office of the Presidency’s SAyouth.mobi platform will be linked, as part of High Gear’s intention to address rising youth unemployment and the skills shortage restricting career options for the country’s youth.

“Yakh’iFuture will be a multidimensional career experience platform that will allow young people to make confident choices and inspire them to carve a career pathway in the industry. The resource will include learning and discovery of related concepts, digitised engineering demonstration kits that bring engineering theory to life, video case studies of inspirational career stories, career roles and frequently asked questions that are designed to give young people every chance of success in a finding job, learnership and apprenticeship opportunities,” says Hagans.

“It will also increase accessibility to tools and resources for lecturers, so that students have a better understanding of career paths, job roles and responsibilities to build work readiness. For employers, increased visibility of students and the ability to connect directly with them will further align skills and career development. By having employers upload current information and learning resources, students will remain career-ready even as the industry evolves,” he adds.