E-learning platform educates hopeful engineers

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Skills development initiative High Gear has introduced the Yakh’iFuture online learning and career guidance platform for students.

Yakhi’iFuture, meaning ‘build your future’, is an interactive online platform designed to prepare students, graduates and young people interested in automotive component manufacturing careers for a real-life workplace.

The Yakh’iFuture website, which is now live, was designed for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college students as a complement to courses and student support services offered through TVET colleges.

High Gear says it draws on industry knowledge and skills imperatives to strengthen the market relevance of the TVET college system by enabling greater industry involvement in course design and delivery.

The platform includes mechanical engineering programmes, a section to help youth find jobs, learnership and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as skills development games.

The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Department of Higher Education and Training are the lead national partners of High Gear.

“We are hoping this website can serve as a model for other industry associations to develop similar career guidance resources for TVET students,” says High Gear programme director Colin Hagans.

“Yakh’iFuture will be an ever-evolving online career experience platform that equips, inspires and connects young people to the automotive components manufacturing sector. It will enable students and graduates to complement their studies, access work opportunities, network with potential employers and work with confidence once they reach the workplace.”

The youth-facing career platform will be accessible to all young people, not just TVET students. “There will be no logins required and we aim to get the site zero-rated, so even interested young people with no data will be able to use it to build their future,” says Shivani Singh, NAACAM’s commercial director.

The resource will also showcase various roles in the automotive component manufacturing industry, from entry level to senior roles, as well as showing career pathways and key competencies required for each path.

Students and other young people will also be able to develop and practise gamified competencies to stay sharp and bring their studies to practical life while they engage in a job search journey, according to High Gear.

Opportunities from the Office of the Presidency’s platform will be linked to the portal, as part of High Gear’s intention to address rising youth unemployment and the skills shortage restricting career options for the country’s youth.

“Yakh’iFuture will be a multi-dimensional career experience platform that will allow young people to make confident choices and inspire them to carve a career pathway in the industry.

“The resource will include learning and discovery of related concepts, digitised engineering demonstration kits that bring engineering theory to life, video case studies of inspirational career stories, career roles and frequently asked questions that are designed to give young people every chance of success in finding a job, learnership and apprenticeship opportunities,” adds Hagans.

High Gear is funded by the UK government’s Skills for Prosperity Programme, the United States Agency for International Development and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, among others.

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