Born Again Enrichment Centre, a non-profit organisation, held a one-day career expo for Grade 12 pupils, at Thusong Hall in Khayelitsha, on Thursday May 19.
Pupils from Bulumko and Masiyile high schools, as well as the Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT), attended the expo.
Nombulelo Mentjies, director and founder of the Khayelitsha-based organisation, said they discovered that most pupils in the area were not exposed to all the careers available to them. She said a lack of guidance from teachers and parents often resulted in pupils choosing wrong careers.
The organisation also hoped to inform pupils about the requirements one needed to study the courses they were interested in, she said.
Ms Mentjies said it was sad to hear some Grade 12 pupils mumbled when asked about their career choices after matric.
loveLife, the traffic department, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Silulo Ulutho gave guidance to pupils.
“Previously, institutions of higher learning would host these career exhibitions, but they decided to stop doing that,” Ms Mentjies said. “Most parents are not educated and are unable to advise their children properly about careers.”
Ms Mentjies said that since their first expo in 2014 there had been some positive results, and they planned to host the expo annually, citing a growing interest from schools.
“Not every parent is able to take their child to a career expo that is held in town, hence we felt it was fitting to host these career expos here in Khayelitsha.
“Most schools no longer have career guidance classes and that has had a negative impact on the pupils,” she said.
Vuyokazi Gomba, service coordinator at the NYDA, said their core mission was to inform young people about the agency and encourage them to start their own businesses.
There was a dire need to empower township pupils because of the country’s history, she said.
“We are delighted to be here. We hope to see one or two of these young people on our doorstep with a business plan and asking for advice in order to turn their dreams into reality,” she said.
Masiyile High Grade 12 pupil Simnikiwe Mbola said he had always wanted to be a traffic officer, but he did not know where to apply or what was needed to be one.
“Thanks to this career expo, now I know where to apply and some of the important qualities to have. The organisation should continue doing this because they are helping us to make informed decisions about what we would like to study,” he said.
Ms Mentjies said: “ I thank all the stakeholders who grace this occasion and we need more of them to come on board to make this a successful township-based career expo.”