Gauteng & Western Cape, South Africa

Youth who finds no path where the path should be

It is June, bringing with it youth month.  Our future, our tomorrow have to struggle through a flawed and unequal schooling system, high tertiary education cost and providers taking advantage of the poor environment our youth is in.

Youth who finds no path where the path should be

It is June, bringing with it youth month.  Our future, our tomorrow have to struggle through a flawed and unequal schooling system, high tertiary education cost and providers taking advantage of the poor environment our youth is in.

But there are always a glimmer of hope in the eyes of our youth.

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I remember my first group of young people on a skills intervention I was partially responsible for.  It was an IT internship.  When I started working with this group of youth, the programme had already started.  The group was fairly small and they had their training in another building of the office park where the head office was situated.  They had so much aspiration and hope for their future in IT which not all of them followed at the end of the day.  One of the young men in the group became a photographer. I look often at his work with admiration.  The photo of us taken years later at a corporate function is still hanging in my passage at home. I feel so proud of these young people every time i walk past it.

Mentoring young people into a career is not always easy.  Sometimes you want to pull your hair out of your head, shake them until they see the future and you cry with them and for them.  But it can be very rewarding at times.

A young lady walked into an interview a good ten years or so ago, knowing nothing of IT.  The idea of becoming an IT professional not entering her mind much. Hungry for education and advancing herself, she grabbed the opportunity, worked hard at it and become the star she never knew existed within her.  She is the pride of her parents, and to be honest, each time I see her post and see her career growth, I feel just as proud.

These were my kids as well.

When building someone’s career it is much more than the just now.  You need to find the star, the passion, the aptitude and nurture it into the start of something.  And then like, the poem Walking Away by C Day-Lewis, you have to let them go and believe they will grow.

Skills Development of our youth is more than a tick box exercise. I so wish companies would see this and understand that you are actually working with the life of an individual, changing his or her future and their generations after them.

A nation and an economy gets build not only with the right attitude but with the correct skills development of those individual youth and the mapping out of their career.  From a small boy looking after sheep on a farm in the eastern cape, to a lawyer and then a president.

It is all possible.

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