The second annual KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Construction and Property Career Week will see 134 learners from schools in the Tongaat, uMlazi and Bridge City communities receiving practical insights into this significant sector from 27 to 29 June.
Organised by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) with sponsorship from property council members – including Tongaat Hulett – the objective is to expose KZN learners to the career opportunities within the property and construction sectors. The informative discussions are hosted in the Winter school holidays and are taking place at the South African Sugar Association offices this year.
The workshops form part of Tongaat’s Social Sustainability and Innovation Programme (SSIP), which is a partnership intervention with the government and surrounding communities. Through the SSIP, Tongaat Hulett looks to empower all communities living in and around the developments. This ensures community members are engaged in social upliftment and economic participation within their respective regions.
Bongani Gumede, Corporate Director for Tongaat Hulett Developments, said that the Career Week falls under the SSIP’s Comprehensive Youth Development Programme.
“This influential programme seeks to position education as a critical success factor in contributing towards an empowered, engaged and organised community,” explained Gumede. “All the learners attending come from schools in the neighbouring communities with the top learners from seven schools, as well as a further 20 from Cornubia, selected to participate in this mutually beneficial programme.”
Gumede said that, through the Comprehensive Youth Development Programme, Tongaat Hulett is ensuring that learners take a keen interest in the property development and built environment value chain.
“We are hoping to encourage this as a career path of choice for children coming from communities neighbouring Tongaat Hulett landholdings,” explained Gumede. “In the medium to long-term, the strategic intent is to strengthen the participation of youth in localisation of economic opportunities, thereby creating skilled labour and an entrepreneurial pool for the property industry.”
Mike Deighton, Managing Director of Tongaat Hulett Developments and president of SAPOA, opened the event on Monday, followed by talks from various tertiary institutes and companies on the built environment. On Tuesday, representatives of various career platforms will discuss their chosen vocation with learners encouraged to ask questions and on Wednesday, learners will get on-site instruction at Cornubia, Group 5, ACSA, and Pavilion.