Providing learners with the opportunity to conduct career research, network, and explore a variety of high school exit options, goes a long way in motivating and supporting learners to make better life choices.

This is the rationale behind a Career Guidance Programme created by the De Wildt Solar Farm to benefit around 900 learners in grades 9 and 12, across three high schools in the surrounding communities of the Madibeng Local Municipality.

The first phase of the programme kicked off in May, with the second phase commencing during the last school term of this year. Funded by De Wildt Solar, it forms part of its socio-economic programme, which has a strong focus on education and is aimed at supporting communities within a 50km radius of the solar project.

“This initiative motivates learners and equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge they need to make informed career choices, giving them a sense of purpose and thus encouraging them to stay in school,” said Julius Nong, Community Operations Project Officer for De Wildt Solar.

In this programme, learners are exposed to a number of workshop sessions, such as ‘Knowing yourself – Who I am’; ‘Subject vs Career Choice’; as well as ‘Journey/Career Mapping’. In turn, this will result in more learners pursuing further education and training.

“The skills that learners will acquire during this programme will enable them to be more competitive in the job market. As a result, youth will have a higher level of preparedness to enter the workforce, pursue further education, and face the challenges of a competitive world,” said Nong.

The programme contributes to skills development in the local community by helping to reduce unemployment and poverty, by retaining learners in school and giving them the skills to become productive citizens after matriculation.

“During the workshops, I learned a great deal about career options and the importance of choosing a career that aligns with my subjects. I now have a better understanding of who I am and what I want,” said Onkarabile Mahlaba, a grade 9 learner from Malatse Motsepe Secondary School.

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