This past week, hundreds of students flocked to the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) annual World of Work (WOW) exhibition for a chance to mingle with prospective employers.
The two day annual event, hosted by DUT’s Co-Operative Education Department, saw numerous companies from various industries that not only showcased, but also enticed students with what they have to offer them upon graduating.
“I really just want to cover all bases and do whatever it takes. I mean, the employment stats are shocking in South Africa. Everyday I see an unemployed graduate looking for a job on social media and that scares me. I feel like there’s a 50/50 chance that could be me once I graduate,” said student Precious Gwabe*.
Last year saw hundreds of students at the exhibition in an effort to learn more about opportunities available to them upon their completion of studies. This year was no different as it saw not only more student engagement, but an increased number of companies as well.
Companies participating in the event included Transet, African Medium, Community Chest, Honda Motor Southern Africa, Viacom International Media and DUT-Careers; just to name a few.
According to the Co-Operative Education Department, its main aim is to give students an idea of what the industry expects from prospective employees and how they can become employable graduates. “The World of Work exhibition acts as a stepping stone in connecting prospective graduates with prospective employers.”
Students had the opportunity to listen to talks and also pose questions at the designated employees of various companies who were present at each station that was set up.
“I like how they bring so many different companies to us under one roof so we can have a pick for ourselves. I actually enjoy attending World of Work because the people who man the stands know their companies’ ins & outs and it’s good to know what opportunities are out there for you,” said Horticulture student Nolwazi Machi.
Although more companies participated this year, some students felt that many other industries still need to be included, as some students are not accommodated.
“I came to this event to see what I could possibly get out from it. I like the whole idea behind it but also feel like there is a bit of a gap. I feel as if a lot more students need to be catered for. There is no variety in the companies that exhibit here but I feel that can be fixed over time,“ said Gwabe*.
Lehlohonolo Mosimane*, who was one of the event general workers said this is a great opportunity for students and is pleased that so many of them showed interest. “I’ve been working at this event as just a helping hand and a guide for students. The engagement has not ceased to amaze me since morning. I mean you can tell that students are really interested in getting into the industry and securing jobs. The way they engage with the companies that are here is really great to watch. I think this event is quite beneficial to them and they know that.”
The exhibition was held at DUT’s Ritson Campus on the 15th and 16th of August.
*Names have been changed to conceal identity.
— Thabisile Ngeleka