Kempton Park, Gauteng, 25 September 2015 –  Today, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, MP, led a selected group of female learners from local schools, to the South African Airways (SAA) Technical in Kempton Park to promote the Women in Scarce Skills
programme, under the theme take a girl child to work. ‘It will be remembered that before the hard
earned democratic dispensation in 1994, although it was wrong, but it was universally acceptable in this country that certain groups of people were viewed as inferior and could not pursue certain careers in occupations which were attributed to belong to  superior population groups. Such careers included, among other things, study fields in the aviation, petrochemical, mining, maritime, and engineering careers. A woman was erroneously perceived as incapable of occupying these career fields for self- proclaimed special people’, said the Deputy Minister. The Women in Scarce Skills programme aims to attract young female learners from townships and rural communities to fields that were previously reserved for male and white counterparts. Grade 11 female learners from the following township schools were in attendance:

  1. Ekangala Comprehensive School, Bronkhorspruit

  1. Jabulani Technical School, Soweto

  1. Katlehong Technical School, Katlehong

  1. Nick Mpshe Secondary School, Wintervelt

  1. Missiourlian Secondary School, Eldorado Park

The Women in Scarce Skills Programme is an advocacy   campaign   championed   by   the Deputy Minister to respond to the imperatives of transformation as outlined in the White Paper on Post School Education and Training. It is aimed at encouraging female learners to take up careers in fields previously dominated by males. This campaign exposes female learners   to   career   choices   in   Aviation, Petrochemicals, Mining, Maritime, as well as Engineering, through visits to industries and
workplaces.

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The Deputy Minister, accompanied by Ms Maphefo   Anno-Frempong     (CEO   of   the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA), and South African Airways Technical, Mr   Zuko   Mguzulwa (Head   of   TechnicalTraining) toured SAA operations together with female   learners   from   schools   who   were afforded an opportunity to observe SAA’s technicians demonstrating and sharing their experiences on their chosen careers.

The   Deputy   Minister   emphasized   that campaigns like this one will target townships and rural high schools to assist in equipping young   female   learners   with   relevant information that will allow them to confront the male   dominated   workplace.   He   further encouraged the female learners to apply to various Post-School Education and Training (PSET) institutions on time to ensure that they are guaranteed entry in to their intended career choices. He urged them to disregard
the socio-economic conditions and be the change that society needs. He informed them about available funding methods for deserving students   from   previously   disadvantaged backgrounds through the National Student Financial   Aid   Scheme   and   learnerships through the Sector Education and Training Authorities, like TETA who coordinated the visit. Mrs Anno-Frempong said ‘a total of 186 female learners have benefited from TETA’s sponsored interventions that are aimed at
encouraging young females to pursue careers in the aviation sector, particularly, African females whom are under-represented. ‘Stakeholders, including employers just like SAA should join hands and play their role to support   and   implement   transformational imperatives. On the other hand, the youth must claim their position to make better use of  opportunities   presented   to   them.   Young ladies, your future is in your hands, nurture it’, said Manana.

SAA   technicians   shared   valuable   and informative knowledge about their day to day work and motivated the prospective learners to excel in their studies and challenge their male counterparts.Nondumiso Sithole a learner at Ekangala Comprehensive School said ‘they are grateful for the opportunities shared and this will certainly assist with choosing career choices within aviation sector’.

Ends.

Issued by: Ministry of Higher Education and Training

25 September 2015