High school learners in the Eastern Cape will be inspired to follow careers in science, technology and other critical and scarce skills at a big career exhibition, hosted by Denel, at the Mthatha Military Base next week.
At least 3 000 learners from five districts in the eastern side of the province will not only receive information, encouragement from young scientists, engineers and technicians from the defence and technology group on Friday 22 July, they will also see and touch some of Denel’s hi-tech, innovative defence products at the expo.
“We are responding to the national priority to develop the next generation of engineers, artisans, scientists and researchers. It starts with exposure and sharing relevant information,” says Zwelakhe Ntshepe, acting group CEO of Denel.
About 3 000 learners from schools in Dutywa, Libode, Mthatha, Ngcobo and Qumbu districts in the Eastern Cape will attend the Career Expo at the SANDF’s Mthatha Base.
The Career Expo is supported by the Departments of Defence and Military Veterans, Basic Education and the OR Tambo District Municipality. OR Tambo District executive mayor, Nomakhosazana Meth, will address the learners on the importance of following careers in the critical and scarce skills categories, in line with the national development imperatives of South Africa.
Ntshepe says Denel makes substantial contributions to a number of educational programmes designed to improve the quality of teaching in the “STEM subjects” – science, technology, education and mathematics. Maths and science enrichment programmes are offered to Grade 10-12 learners in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KZN, North West and Gauteng.
“Our young engineers have recently participated in a winter school programme in the Free State earlier this month, where they offered extra tuition in mathematics and physical science to Grade 12 learners,” Ntshepe says.
The Career Expo will not only encourage high school learners to continue with their studies in STEM subjects, but also create a greater awareness about career opportunities within the defence and technology sectors. Denel annually offers bursaries and internships to students at various tertiary institutions and trains artisans at the Denel Technical Academy in Kempton Park.
He says Denel regards itself as a responsible corporate citizen and fully supports the objectives of the National Development Plan to train more artisans and engineers that can enable the country to meet both its current and future requirements.
The Mthatha Military Base expo programme will include an overview of Denel’s iconic defence products, such as the Rooivalk combat helicopter, the Badger infantry combat vehicle, as well as its participation in programmes designed to support the local defence and security sectors.