Nedbank, one of South Africa's big four banks, has launched a career guidance initiative for underprivileged high school students that will benefit more than 40 000 pupils in grades 9 to 12 across the country.
The launch took place at the Michelangelo Towers hotel on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton on 15 February 2012, emceed by popular 5FM radio and television presenters, Anele Mdoda and Gareth Cliff.
Early career guidance
In the third year of this initiative, the bank will invest more than R5-million in its My Future My Career programme. It will promote more than 100 career choices across 14 industries and will enable the pupils to discover the academic as well as personality requirements of each career.
The students will gain insight into these careers through movie episodes shown at Ster-Kinekor theatres around the country. They will also learn from professionals in the working world what to expect in these careers.
Kone Gugushe, Nedbank's divisional executive for corporate social responsibility, said: "Time and again we see too many students showing up at universities without a clue of what they want to and, more importantly, can study," Gugushe said.
He added that the programme will give students insight into careers and improve the prospects of developing skills in critical sectors such as financial services, health and engineering.
The programme, which is endorsed by the Department of Basic Education, was conceptualised by Primestars Marketing, which is also the project manager.
Martin Sweet, managing director of Primestars Marketing, said that the project hopes to inspire youngsters to play a key role in overcoming the current projected skills shortage and the high rate of unemployment in South Africa.
Through the programme, young people will also be encouraged to explore and take full advantage of the career opportunities.
Nedbank and Primestars are joined by PPC Cement, Gauteng City Region Academy, Quest, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the JD Group as sponsors of the programme.
Where to catch the screenings
Screenings will include the following careers: accounting, law, entrepreneurship, mining and engineering, education, health, IT, construction, travel and tourism. Each pupil who attends a screening will leave with a reference booklet on that particular career.
The screenings start on 26 February, with the subjects of entrepreneurship and tourism; on 4 March, it is the turn of IT and communications; on 11 March, mining, engineering and construction; on 18 March, banking, finance and accounting; on 15 April, criminal justice and law; on 22 April, health services and education; and on 29 April, arts and culture, and transport, logistics and distribution.
They will take place at various theatres countrywide – in Gauteng at Brooklyn in Pretoria; at Eastgate; Sandton; Maponya Mall; Southgate; Eastrand Mall and Westgate in Johannesburg; in Northern Cape at North Cape Mall in Kimberley; in Free State at Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein; in North West at Rustenburg; in Limpopo at Savannah Mall in Polokwane; and in Kwazulu-Natal at Gateway and Musgrave in Durban.
In Western Cape pupils can catch the screenings at Cape Gate and Cavendish in Cape Town; while in the Eastern Cape, they will be at The Bridge in Port Elizabeth and Vincent Park in East London.
"The JD Group realises the challenges and the effects of unemployment in South Africa, particularly among the youth of the country. It is with this mind that we partnered with the My Future, My Career initiative," said Richard Chauke, a director at JD Group.
These career episodes will also be screened at 13 NYDA youth centres across the country.
The Nedbank Foundation
The Nedbank Foundation is the primary corporate social investment arm of Nedbank.
Early this year it launched its Back to School campaign at Ga-Masemola village in Limpopo, where 150 pupils from four schools in the area received essential school items such as uniforms, shoes, stationery, books, bags and sports kits, to start their school year on a high note.
It also has other projects that benefit underprivileged students, such as the Nedbank Fundisa Maths and Science Project, under which maths and science teachers in Eastern Cape and Limpopo are enrolled at Unisa for a one-year course on improving their classroom teaching techniques.
The foundation also runs the Nedbank Mobile Library Project, the Matric Exam Revision Programme, and the M2 Mathematics Project.