According to Artisan Training Institute (ATI) – a perennial issue facing youth globally is what career to pursue. In South Africa there are huge efforts by NGO’s, industry and government to address not only the levels of basic education but also career guidance.
It does not end there though, a great deal of school leavers who apply to study at various institutions in South Africa or other parts of the African continent are still not aware how to access funding, such as bursaries, scholarships, and NSFAS – in the case of SA. What is worse is that because of these challenges, a large number of these school-leavers who do not receive career guidance or training become virtually unemployable.
UKIYO Group is a social impact driven edu-tech business founded by Nozuko Mzamo – it is a company that strives to provide the ultimate student experience, where students from all over the country and the African continent can engage and connect with global opportunities: #Learning2Earning; #FuelUpYourEducation “FUYE” and #FuelUpYourCareer “FUYC”.
Nozuko, who hails from Tentergate village, close to Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, believes that in this day and age students should not be struggling with access to career guidance, funding and training. The plight of these school-leavers is very close to her heart because in the ‘90s she was in the same situation, not knowing which course to study at university, and how her education was going to be funded. She is concerned that after so many years little has changed.
Nozuko, the Director of UKIYO says: “I would have thought that by now, with students studying in the era where technology has advanced so much, access to this basic information wouldn’t still be a hindrance to children who want to make something of their lives.”
Assessing the current situation, Nozuko decided not to wait for the government to come up with solutions on its own, but instead she has come up with a virtual platform, complemented by an App, where students are able to access the entire ecosystem of information pertaining to their studies and careers. This includes scholarships and university entrance requirements, to internships and other career opportunities.
This year will see the launch of the inaugural Global Student Summit Platform (GSSP). This is an innovative and supportive student event, due to take place in the second half of 2020, and it will be a first of its kind in the world. This virtual platform is but one of the ways to address these pressing issues, by providing a student portal where future employers, universities, colleges, and those working in the higher education space, can gain access to hundreds of students, all of whom will be at various points of their study careers.
“The ultimate objective for this event is to create One Integrated Virtual World, where students can be connected to global opportunities, and a platform for tertiary institutions and corporates to gain access to a significant recruitment pool and future global leaders,” adds Nozuko.
The 2020 GSSP is meant to attract students from various countries and provide the perfect opportunity for corporates and organisations operating in the higher education space to showcase their services through an online exhibition and engage with students in real time. In addition, this virtual conference will be connecting students to opportunities, while connecting companies and organizations to a future pipeline of employees, potential clients, product consumers, and/or brand ambassadors.
The programme of the launch event will be similar to and modelled along the lines of a face to face interaction, with the exception that it will be completely virtual. It will take place over one (1)-day, with themes that include career awareness, mental health and wellness, as well as virtual breakaway sessions. In addition, there will be exhibitions from different companies.
Nozuko has echoed the sentiment of Mike Fraser, an emotional intelligence coach, who said: “The South African education system needs a structured career guidance programme to be incorporated into its curriculum. It can comfortably be done by incorporating career guidance into the existing life orientation curriculum.
“Career guidance increases the pupils’ readiness to make informed career choices. Pupils will always do better if they understand how their chosen subjects at school lead to a meaningful career path. The process of choosing a career is detailed, complex and a very important decision in any young person’s life. A structured career guidance programme in our education system will go a long way in achieving this much-needed goal.”