South African matriculants, school leavers and students can register now to attend The Knowledge Trust Career Expo, hosted for the first time entirely on the WhatsApp platform. Expo visitors who have completed the expo’s career guidance journey, unlock access to apply for the more than 140 bursaries, valued at over R20 million. They also have access to more than 20 education institutions, who will be hosting stands at the expo, as well as a wide variety of career guidance, learnership and job opportunities.
The expo, which runs for three months focusing on different topics each month, can be accessed for free by South African youth. For November, the theme is Education and participants can register to connect with educators, training providers and organisations who sponsor young talent. The expo features a variety of pathways across six different expo halls: business and management; media and communication; science, technology, engineering and maths; health and wellness; tourism and hospitality; and arts, humanities and education.
For the current Matric cohort, the event’s ground-breaking use of the WhatsApp platform enables them to easily co-ordinate browsing the virtual education and employment expo halls with their study and exam timetables, from home, simply via their devices. For school-leavers and students, it enables them to scout for serious study opportunities, bursaries and sponsorships without incurring any travel spend or major data costs. In addition to accessing the bounty of bursaries, participants have the option to apply for Standard Bank student loans via the WhatsApp bot. Young South Africans can register here to access The Knowledge Trust Career Expo on WhatsApp.
Jaryd Raizon, Africa Director of The Knowledge Trust says, “This expo was designed for youth as a free tool they can explore within the comfort of their homes. At a time when so many other events have been disrupted due to the pandemic, it was vital to provide youth with access to career guidance, education and job opportunities, at scale through affordable technology. At the same time, ensuring Matrics and school-leavers are not further compromised due to COVID-19.”
JobStarter, a career coaching platform, is one of the partners at The Knowledge Trust Career Expo. Executive Director, Marguerite van Niekerk highlights why learners and students should participate:
Learners and Matrics – “Taking the first step to planning for your future can feel rather daunting, even frightening. To know what your next step should be, you need to know what options are available to you because it is important to match your skills, interests and values to study and career pathways that work well for you. Career Expos like this one are important tools for you to use to discover what’s out there in the world of work and to explore options that suit you. You are likely to gain insights into careers you haven’t known about or considered.”
School-leavers and Students – “The job market is constantly and rapidly changing, and so are the skills-sets that employers need. The Knowledge Trust Career Expo will provide you with wonderful opportunities to gain insights into different industries and a deeper understanding about your interests, skills and values. It’s an experience that helps you understand who you are and what you have to offer, which is a crucial first step in your job-seeking journey. This, in turn, helps you create a better CV and stand out in interviews.”
Van Niekerk concludes, “My top tip is to explore every booth in every hall. Don’t follow your preconceived ideas about study or work that might interest you. Keep an open mind and check out all the options. You never know what you might learn about yourself or the world of work that could shift your career trajectory in more fulfilling and rewarding ways.”
Unilever’s LevelUp initiative is an exciting feature of the expo this November. The youth empowerment programme will give expo participants access to training modules that will enable them to strengthen their CV as well as build their skills and experience. LevelUp teaches the basics of personal branding, helps to develop digital skills and offers a range of activities that promote work-readiness. Lisa Andrews, HR Director Talent & Organisation at Unilever says, “Collaborations and partnerships are critical in growing and developing Africa’s youth and we are proud to partner with The Knowledge Trust on such an innovative and purpose driven initiative”
Registration for The Knowledge Trust Career Expo via WhatsApp is free here