Twenty young girls from previously disadvantaged backgrounds have been given the chance to receive on-the-job experience in a range of career choices thanks to the job readiness programme by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
The CDC’s skills transfer and job readiness programme will see the 20 teenagers getting first-hand experience through the myriad of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The programme, called Techno Girls, is led by Coega’s Corporate Social Investment unit (CSI). The young women who have been selected are between the ages of 14 and 16 and are from grade 9 to 11 at high schools in Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban.
Zintle Dweba from Ndyebo High School said “The opportunity given to me has been so beneficial that I have been taught how to be an independent and ambitious woman”.
During the 2014/15 financial year the CDC has contributed more than R13-million to CSI projects.
The CDC provided training and skills development to 8 147 individuals, exceeding its target of 5 595.
The Techno Girls programme is a platform where the learners are paired up with a mentor who imparts his or her industry experience.
“During the programme girls follow a structured job shadowing programme at various host organisations. The girls are placed in companies whose core business activities are focused on scarce career fields in STEM where woman are under-represented. The Techno Girls programme involves placing girls in the workplace on a long term, structured and systematic basis; the girls are placed within the host organisation for five days, three times per year, over a four year period targeting girls between grades 9 and 11.
“I am elated that Coega has teamed up with Uweso Consulting Agency to offer an opportunity to the young girls so they can see the rewards of entering the field of science, technology and maths. The programme hopes to mould the learners into well-rounded, self-sufficient and astute professionals within the respective disciplines,” said Thandi Rayi, Coega’s CSI Manager.
Uweso Consulting Agency is a national company tasked with identifying learners for the programme and also facilitate the payment of stipends to the girls.
This week’s programme includes how to be financially and technology savvy as well as communication and interpersonal skills.
Coega’s CSI unit joined the programme in 2013 and they will continue to empower youngsters, help them make informed career choices.
“CDC robust CSI drive also includes the Maths and Science programme, which offer assistance to those individuals who need to improve their results,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Head of Marketing and Communications.
Other CSI programmes that have benefitted communities in the Eastern Cape Province include:
- The CDC Driver training programme, a CDC flagship programme.
- Maths and Science Academy (MSA), a CDC flagship programme.
- Disability Affirmation Programme.
- Social Assistance to Destitute Families.
- Chess Development Programme.
- Youth Leadership Development Programme.
- ANF Accounting Academy.
- Employee Involvement Programme.
- Crime Awareness Programme.
Author: Shaanaaz Loggenberg
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