SAIMI provides answers at careers expo


Sharing knowledge can sometimes reap unexpected rewards, which certainly proved to be the case at the recent Youth Employability Indaba and KZN Careers Expo in Durban, where SAIMI turned the usual handing-out-of-leaflets exercise into a learning experience of its own.

“We thought it would be interesting to invite school-goers to challenge our knowledge, inviting them to jot down questions about maritime careers on a piece of paper, which we could analyse at a later stage,” says SAIMI’s project co-ordinator for maritime education, Tanaka Mugabe.

“And interesting it certainly proved to be, pinpointing a real need for SAIMI to put together a careers booklet, explaining who, and which colleges, to approach for training.

“The questions posed also left us better equipped to deal with enquiries at future expos.”

Naturally, part and parcel of the reasoning behind attending the expo was to reach out to students and better equip them with knowledge of the many and varied career opportunities on offer within the maritime sector.

“We did this in two ways,” says Tanaka.

“First, National Cadet Programme manager Yvette de Klerk gave motivating talks on careers within the sector, and, secondly, we shared information about the various aspects of the maritime industry with school-goers in one-on-one chats.”

Two shipping and logistics students from Durban University of Technology, Lulama Zono and Siphumelele Gcaba, assisted SAIMI in sharing information on maritime careers with attendees.

Lulama advised students to do their very best as they near the end of their school careers.

“You need an aptitude for both maths and physics before you can even consider a career in the industry,” he says.

“Also, look for something you will enjoy – it’s not just about making money, it’s about being happy. It’s also important to consider a career which will be of benefit to the country as a whole.”

Tanaka says the event proved to be a great platform from which to explain to students that the maritime industry does not just offer sea-going possibilities.

“They were really surprised to learn that there are also many land-based options as well.”

She believes the exercise was a great success, and says many of the students her team interacted with expressed real interest in following a maritime career.


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