The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Mamelodi Campus is playing host to a facility that provides high school learners with career guidance sessions.
The Career HUB, which is designed to assist Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 learners, came about after Senior Faculty Advisor and registered psychometrist Ida Meyer noticed the lack of exposure that first-year students had to proper career guidance at school level.
“Further discussions and meetings showed that there was a gap for access and success in the pre-university space of the Mamelodi precinct,” she explains. “In 2019, the Pre-University Academy was launched; meetings were held with the principals of secondary schools in Mamelodi as part of the establishment of this academy. During these meetings, the principals also mentioned the need for the professional assessment of learners for subject choice and career guidance.”
Meyer went on to explain that in 2018, a meeting was held between the Mamelodi student advisors and the Department of Higher Education and Training to utilise their National Career Advice Portal online assessment tools for subject choice and career guidance. “I then proposed a Khetha centre [where individuals can access career development services], which would be called the Career HUB, as a service to the community.”
The first subject choice assessments were done with Grade 9 learners from the Mamelodi schools that showed interest in the hub. “Life Orientation teachers assisted with bringing the learners to campus, where they did the assessments on computers in the IT labs,” Meyer says. “Career HUB administrator Bridgette Makgareetsa trained 16 UP alumni, who assisted learners to do the assessments online under my guidance.”
Things had to be adjusted with the arrival of the pandemic. “With the advent of COVID-19 restrictions, the planned empowerment week for Grades 10, 11 and 12 learners were adapted to online sessions,” Meyer says. “Currently, learners can access videos on study methods, how to love mathematics, public speaking skills and leadership skills, as well as information on where to study and find bursaries.”
In addition to the empowerment sessions for Grades 10, 11 and 12 learners, the Career HUB also caters to job-seekers. “The hub assists in- and out-of-school youth in the Mamelodi community with information in the field of subject choice for the correct careers,” Meyer explains. “The hub also offers information on careers that are suitable for their interests, personality and abilities; and assists them with aspects around job-seeking, such as creating a CV, preparing for interviews, etc.”
The hub is benefiting several learners. “In 2021, more than 1 000 Grade 9 learners from 10 different schools in Mamelodi were tested, and individual feedback was returned to the schools. Life Orientation teachers could then support the learners to make the right choices according to their results.”
Collaboration with principals and Life Orientation teachers at local schools is of great value to the success of the Career HUB, Meyer adds. “This relationship is making it possible for us to change lives for the better – one learner at a time.”
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