In a concerted effort to directly and positively impact the future for learners from Kagiso’s Mosupatsela Secondary School, Silverstar has taken its career development campaign within the school to a new level with career profiling for Grade 10s, and sending staff volunteers to share work experiences with Grade 11s, which was followed by a job-shadowing day at the property.
This initiative is part of the wider Tsogo Sun group programme that focuses on education and impacts more than 35 000 children and youth around the country. The group’s programmes extend from Grades R to 12, from early childhood development projects through to preparation for employment. The new information sharing and job shadowing pilot programme entails staff volunteers discussing their work experiences with the young people to help them make informed career choices.
Last year Tsogo Sun Citizenship introduced an online career guidance programme designed to help Grades 9 to 12 high school learners find relevant career direction, be assisted in applying for higher education and bursaries, and job-readiness training in Grade 12.
Towards the end of 2017, the subject confirmation and career profiling workshops were conducted with 350 Grade 10 Mosupatsela learners, to foster visual awareness of different career options and encourage learners to further research their own potential career choices.
For 300 Grade 11s, 19 Silverstar staff visited Mosupatsela to give them insight into real-life career success stories. Learners were matched with the Silverstar volunteer experienced in their field of interest, and learned more about their potential career paths. The learners were encouraged by the stories from the Silverstar professionals and on how they accessed relevant career opportunities.
Subsequently, 40 of the school’s Grade 11s visited Silverstar for job shadowing with 22 staff volunteers, giving the learners the opportunity to explore the working environment and engage with staff to ensure their perceptions match the reality of the job, to help the learners make informed choices and guide their future career planning decisions.
The youngsters spent time with their allocated volunteers, learning about their careers, their responsibilities, the value of their jobs to the department and the organisation, what they enjoyed most about their jobs, what the challenges are, and their own personal backgrounds and philosophies.
One of the Silverstar volunteers mentioned that, “The fact that I studied something different from my current career path helped learners to realise that when you are passionate about something you are bound to succeed in that specific area.”
Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager, says, “Learning about a job first-hand from someone in the job is the best teacher, and hearing from people at various levels within Silverstar, from a range of different departments and across the spectrum of experience, age and backgrounds gave the learners valuable information from the inside.”
Anneke Potgieter, Complex Operations Director and General Manager of Silverstar, says, “With unemployment rife in the Kagiso community, we believe it’s important for us to get involved in giving young people from disadvantaged schools guidance and advice on appropriate career choices, and improving their employability and entrepreneurial skills. Our aim is to better equip them in their decision-making for their futures, enabling them to pursue careers that best suit their skills.”