[Mossel Bay, South Africa, 17 March 2020] It was an exciting day for the community of Joe Slovo in Mossel Bay, when they were invited to learn about public sector careers at the ‘Join the Workforce’ Career Exhibition, hosted by the Department of Labour on 11 March 2020.
The expo was well supported by local branches of state enterprises. A team from Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Mossel Bay was onsite at the Joe Slovo Community Hall to show-case the vast opportunities and careers in the maritime industry to the youth, unemployed and general public in attendance.
Community upliftment is a crucial focus for TNPA and participating in career exhibitions around the country provides the organisation with an opportunity to express its commitment to the Operation Phakisa programme. Operation Phakisa aims to use the oceans to improve South Africa’s economy, create jobs and bring about economic growth. There are significant skills gaps that must be overcome and it is with career expos such as the “Join the Workforce” that role players can reach a pool of potential talent and enthusiastic young minds.
“In order to address unemployment, poverty and skills development, it is imperative that marginalised communities are supported and exposed to careers by government and leading role-players,” said Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, adding, “The Port of Mossel Bay must benefit our surrounding communities and most notably the youth. ”
“Our activities are part of a wider youth outreach programme that is enthusiastically supported by our head office, our eight commercial ports, as well as our specialist business units. We participate in a number of high school programmes to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics and science, which we believe will encourage the learners to pursue maritime and engineering careers,” said Tshikalange.
TNPA also strives to expose youngsters and the general public to the maritime sector through initiatives such as Take a Girl Child to Work Day, Tomorrow’s Man and various career exhibitions. The port runs local education initiatives at TNPA’s two adopted high schools – Indwe High School and Hillcrest High School – funding programmes that aim to improve performance in Mathematics and Science, skills which are needed for a number of mission critical careers in the ports and other industries. The port has adopted three primary schools – Isalathiso, Imekhaya and Garden Route Primary schools – where ongoing outreach programmes aimed at enhancing early childhood development through open days, campaigns and initiatives that expose young learners to marine related careers, are conducted.
TNPA runs a bursary programme for high school learners to study their grades 10, 11, and 12 at Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simonstown, and tertiary level bursaries for studies in Maritime Related Diplomas such as Marine Engineering and Maritime Studies.