Premier Helen Zille handed over a R100 000 prize to Sophumelela Secondary School on Friday morning. Picture: Sergio Grant/Supplied

Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille handed over a R100 000 prize to Sophumelela Secondary School as the winning school from the Western Cape Government’s Apprenticeship Game Changer Career Awareness competition on Friday morning.

During the surprise handover at the school assembly Zille also awarded a tablet to Sinazo Gudlu, as one of the individual prize winners.

Earlier in the week, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, presented other competition awards to learners at Oval North High School and COSAT as part of the Career Awareness competition. 

These awards included two learners receiving a Pearson ICT Bursary to the value of R100 000 and three learners receiving Imperial Technical Training College Auto Electrician or Motor Mechanic Apprenticeships.

During the surprise handover at the school assembly, Zille also awarded a tablet to Sinazo Gudlu, as one of the individual prize winners. Picture: Supplied

The R100 000 prize awarded to Sophumelela Secondary School will enable additional Smart Classrooms for the school, which already had 12 Smart Classrooms installed in 2015.

“The Western Cape Government has prioritised the expansion of apprenticeships across the province because we need to ensure there are sufficiently qualified technically and vocationally skilled young people to meet the needs of our fastest growing sectors in the Western Cape namely, Tourism, Oil and Gas, Agri-processing and the enabling sectors of Renewable Energy and ICT," said Zille.

"In order to achieve this, we need more young people to choose an apprenticeship as a career path towards a technical and vocational job.

"There are 1000’s of career opportunities in our 5 priority sectors, in fact it is estimated that these sectors can potentially provide over 230 000 jobs over the next few years.”

The Western Cape Government has been running various initiatives in the province, with a particular focus on the 71 Technical High and Maths and Science schools, under the Apprenticeship Game Changer in order to ensure there are sufficiently qualified technical and vocational skilled young people to supply the needs of the five prioritised growth sectors in the Western Cape.

"Our target is to produce an additional 11 300 employable apprentices with qualifications by the end of 2019. We are on track to meet this target, with 8 443 learners having successfully completed their work place base learning programmes by December 2018," Zilled added.

"One of the key focus areas remains changing people’s attitudes towards technical and vocational careers and assisting learners to make informed decisions about their futures."

The campaign, “Your Future Starts Here”, encouraged learners to:

  • Take Mathematics as a school subject;
  • To look at in-demand career options in the fastest growing industrial sectors in the Western Cape; and
  • To consider further study at Technical Training Colleges (TVETS) and Universities of Technology (UOTS) as these allow students to do apprenticeships where they can gain practical skills and work while they study.
Premier Helen Zille handed over a R100 000 prize to Sophumelela Secondary School on Friday morning. Picture: Sergio Grant/Supplied

As part of the Career Awareness Campaign, each Technical High School and Maths and Science School received 5 sets of posters for their Life Orientation classrooms which presented the five priority sectors as 3D worlds and highlight some of the high-in demand occupations within these sectors.

“We are here to celebrate you and your efforts which have won your school this very big prize. Sophumelela means we are succeeding and you are proving that motto to be correct. I encourage you to keep working hard and to never give up,” the Premier Zille added.

Cape Argus