South Africa faces career guidance challenges

A perennial issue facing youth globally is what career to pursue, with many learners being misguided by their parents and teachers.

This is according to Sean Jones, MD of black empowered artisan training company, Artisan Training Institute (ATI).

“In South Africa there are huge efforts by NGO’s, 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.

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 as examples. 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.

“Small efforts like this,” said Jones, “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) is leading this effort, currently preparing a career guidance video for the engineering trades that will be available on YouTube, their web-site, and distributed to organisations working with schools. Critically, young people need to enter careers they are passionate about. Studies have shown, that being in a career you are well suited to, promotes individual happiness, while ensuring longevity in that role.”

Sean Jones
Sean Jones, MD

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