More than a thousand Grade 11 and 12 learners from coastal high schools visited the Career Exhibition that took place earlier this week in Walvis Bay. A number of tertiary institutions, training centres, government ministries, mining and private companies provided the learners with career options, information and study possibilities. According to the organiser, Marie Booysen of the Ministry of Education, the career expo has been an annual event since 1995, and has been held alternating between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
“Due to a lack of a suitable venue in Swakopmund this year we opted to hold the exhibition in Walvis Bay again. The career expo has proven to be an effective tool in providing direction and new study possibilities for the learners. So far we’ve had a wonderful response from schools and the private sector. Over the years we have also consulted guidance teachers on a regular basis to determine the needs and interests of learners. For next year’s exhibit, we wish to encourage other companies and institutions to come and display the various career options in their fields, so that our learners are exposed to more study and career possibilities,” she noted.
A Human Resources Officer of Manica Group Namibia, Francis Angula, noted that there was need for more Namibian training and tertiary institutions at the expo. “Many students were keen on obtaining as much information as they could on the various career options, but some were disappointed that only a few Namibian institutions were represented. Although the South African tertiary and training institutions were well supported, it was clear that learners were interested in obtaining bursaries through local companies and following study courses through local institutions. The learners were eager to know about what logistics, ship agency, project management, information technology, warehousing, export of uranium and imports entail. The Commercial Advancement Training Scheme or CATS programme, aimed at providing industry related training, also attracted quite a lot of interest,” she noted.
Media Relations Officer of the Namibian Tourism Board, Paula Olivier, echoed similar sentiments and added that some learners cut to the chase by asking what type of salaries certain positions earned. “The learners seemed to be aiming for high earning positions such as medical and legal fields, but once they got to know more about other careers, they could relate it to their interests and skills. The learners wanted to know more about becoming and air-hostess and other fields in the hospitality sector. I believe this expo really helps to guide learners on setting a goal for what they want to become one day.”
Other career possibilities that were presented included marine biology, cosmetics and beauty courses, engineering, maritime and other technical fields.