Some 3500 pupils from 44 Cape Town schools explored their career options at the FutureMe World of Work Festival at GrandWest Casino this week.
FutureMe, a non-profit organisation, runs a variety of youth-development programmes.
There were 32 exhibitors at the festival, which was aimed at pupils in Grades 10 and 11, and schools had to register with the Western Cape Education Department to attend.
“We gather corporate partners from a vast array of industries and they come and let the young people know what they do and what possibilities are available to them,” said festival general manager Daniel Galloway.
Yamkela James, from Keready, a non-profit organisation, said they were at the festival to promote their free health services to the youth, including screening for sexually transmitted diseases and diabetes and blood-pressure testing.
Keready doctors and nurses also spoke to pupils about how they could join the medical field.
“We also came to network with different schools so that we are able to collaborate and work hand in hand because we have a difficulty when it comes to teenage pregnancies, high blood pressure, and diabetes in the school sector so we want to minimise people accessing the health services,” Mr James said.
Terence Zeeman, from the Metro Central Education District, displayed items made by a 3D printer and spoke about job opportunities in the fields of coding, robotics and drone piloting.
“We have a responsibility to expose our kids. At the moment, there are only a select few exposed to coding and robotics. As an education department, we need to make sure that we are able to offer that to every kid,” he said.
“At the moment, we are prototyping and training teachers and learners, and hopefully by as early as next year we can introduce coding and robotics to all schools.”
Phomolo Mokoakle, a Grade 9 from Cape Town High School, said she wanted to be a doctor.
“I am glad that I came. I didn’t expect it to be like this but it’s really nice,” she said.