Providing youth with training and job seeking skills

Bridgette Zwane with youth

My name is Bridgette Jabulisa Zwane. I work as an Education Training and Quality Assurance Manager at KZN Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence. I studied for my Masters degree in Policy Studies with specialisation in Evaluation of Educational Programmes at the University of Sydney in Australia and graduated in 2012.

The most relevant skills I acquired in Australia are monitoring and evaluation skills. These skills have ensured that my achievement rates in terms of the youth programmes I manage are maximized. I manage skills development projects that are aimed at ensuring increased access to formal maritime education and training to previously disadvantaged unemployed youth in South Africa. Our first group of trainee Commercial Divers have recently completed training.  This was the first government run programme that trained thirty previously disadvantaged youths in Commercial Diving to enable these learners to enter the highly competitive sector of offshore oil and gas exploration.

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Fully kitted trainee divers.

I am most proud however of the Job Seeker Capacitation Programme I introduced in 2014 at the Centre. This programme came about because of my desire to ensure that youth in townships and rural areas do not miss employment opportunities because of a lack of IT resources and job seeking skills.

The idea was inspired by a project I witnessed in Australia where job seekers were provided with cellphones to ensure that they do not miss that all-important job offer call because they could not afford a cellphone. It made me think that although Australia and South Africa have different contributing factors towards young people being caught in a circle of poverty, IT solutions in both cases can play a contribution in alleviating the problem.

This programme imparts skills to unemployed youth to enable them to seek, retain and thrive in employment opportunities. We also provide access to IT facilities and other material to job seekers. The programme is a 360 degree programme that includes, activities aimed at self-understanding (so job seekers can choose and map out a career path based on their interests and skills), CV writing skills, utilising Internet and Email, online job searching, preparing applications, and communication and presentation skills.

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