Zwelitsha-based Xolani High School was one of 25 Eastern Cape schools to attend the South African International Maritime’s Institute (SAIMI) pilot career expo at the ICC last Wednesday.
More than 450 pupils and community members attended the “Dive In! Maritime-Career Exploration” expo, which will be rolled out to other coastal provinces in 2020.
SAIMI operations director Soraya Artman said the campaign would use a combination of media and activities to get audiences interested in the maritime economy.
“This expo is just the beginning. The Maritime Awareness campaign will roll out from here into various other areas while involving the youth, educators, previously excluded groups such as women and disabled people, business – especially entrepreneurs and SMMEs – and coastal communities,” Artman said.
Various stakeholders exhibited on the day such as Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), research agencies including the SA Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) and various government departments.
The department of environment, forestry and fisheries’ aquaculture advisor Keagon Halley said there was potential for aquaculture as a career field.
“These opportunities include research and activities around the farm or artisanal career opportunities.
“Even though some of the pupils may not have maths and science as subjects at school, there are still areas to go into because aquaculture is a business,” Halley said.
Aspiring marine biologist Thato Thebehadi said the expo had a lot of new things to explore and provided study ideas.
“As students we look forward to experiencing these interesting things. The way things were explained was really great – especially how the boats work and the machines.
“I am also interested in being a cadet and can’t wait to feel the breeze of the sea air,” Thebehadi said.
Ikhona Mabhedeng , one of the attendees, said the day was “awesome”, with new opportunities presented.