There is nothing more soul destroying than spending years at university studying hard, getting a degree, and then finding that you cannot get a job. It’s the usual Catch 22: Companies generally employ people with experience rather than those who are newly qualified. But if you are studying, or have a degree in fields related to environmental affairs, there is hope ahead. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is offering internships for graduates who will get paid a R4,500 monthly stipend, and immediately boost their experience over a one-year period of time.
Applications for the 2015 DEA’s internships for students close on December 12, 2014. So if you are an unemployed post graduate, or even under graduate, and you’ve never been employed in an internship programme before, why not give it a try?
About Internship Opportunities from the Department of Environmental Affairs
Internships for students, whose interests fit the fields that relate directly to the DEA, are offered opportunities to enter the internship programme for a one-year (12 month) period of time. Those candidates who are accepted into the programme are obliged to sign a contract, and they must work for the Department for 12 months.
These internship opportunities are in keeping with the vision of the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority – the EtdpSETA which facilitates and promotes development and improvement with the education, training and development sector. However, as the DEA’s Environmental Sector Skills Plan for South Africa (published in 2010) points out, the environment sector itself does not have a dedicated SETA, instead, “environment needs to be integrated into all SETAs”.
All the current internship opportunities relate in some way to environmental issues, but there is a reasonably wide range of internships to choose from. They are all open to students and graduates aged between 18 and 35 years, and disabled people are encouraged to apply.
Each internship has its own particular requirement in terms of the qualification required, including specified subjects studied. A full list is available on the Department’s website.
Opportunities Available in Pretoria
There are eight openings in Pretoria, which is where the Department of Environment Affairs’ head office is located. In addition, three further positions are available in other parts of the country, via Pretoria:
1. Chemical and waste management
2. Biodiversity and conservation
3. Climate change and air quality
4. Chief operating office
5. Legal authorizations and compliance inspectorate Chief financial officer
6. Chief financial officer
7. Environmental advisory services
8. Environmental programme. While there is only one post available in Pretoria, there are an additional three posts on offer in Limpopo/Mpumalanga, the Western Cape, and the Free State.
All require a relevant three-year degree or national diploma. Specific subjects for the four environmental programme internships vary.
Opportunities Available in Cape Town
There are 12 openings in Cape Town, all linked to the Ocean & Coast and Environmental Programme:
2. Supply chain and asset management
3. Human resource management (HRM)
4. Financial management and management accounting
5. Coastal biodiversity conservation
6. Ocean and coastal conservation strategies
7. Oceans research
8. Biodiversity and coastal research
9. Marine biodiversity and coastal research
10. Coastal pollution management
11. Southern oceans and Antarctica support
All of these also require a relevant three-year degree or national diploma.
All applications for these internships must be submitted on the relevant Z83 form. A CV (curriculum vitae), certified copies of certificates received (eg matric and university), any relevant academic records, and of course an identification document, must be included with the application. Note that all applications must be posted to the relevant person in either Pretoria or Cape Town. Addresses and telephone numbers for further enquiries are available on the Department’s website. Applications must be received by 12th December this year, so if the Post Office is still on strike, you should considered using a courier service to ensure there won’t be unnecessary delays.
Successful applicants will be notified within three months of 12th December (in other words by mid-March 2015).
The Department of Environmental Affairs also offers bursaries to fulltime students, however applications for the 2015 academic year closed on September 26th this year.
Details of application are available from the DEA website
Additional details of application for the 2015 internship program for Pretoria and Cape Town students are available on their website.
Implats Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats), a leading Southern African platinum mining company, offers bursaries to suitable students ever year.
The company is primarily in the business of mining, but also refines platimum-group metals including cobalt, copper and nickel. The company which operates from the Bushveld region, as well as from the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, employs about 57,000 people, some of whom are contractors.
Implats sees itself poised to become the world’s very best platinum-producing mining company, and is committed to safety and sustainability at all levels.
Bursaries Offered by Implats
Bursaries offered by Implats are in keeping with the principles of the MqaSETA, which was originally established to comply with the Mine, Health and Safety Act. The MqaSETA also supports the Mining Charter and facilitates the development of skills in the industry. It actively encourages females to enter the mining sector and helps to empower previously disadvantaged people within the mining industry. Applications from disabled students are welcomed, though Implats does point out that acceptance will be in keeping with whatever the demands of that particular occupation are, related to the degree itself.
Implats invites applications for bursaries annually, and covers the registration and fees for the course of all successful bursary applicants. The company also pays the cost of residence fees and gives students a cash allowance while they are studying. In addition, from the second year at university, students are provided with a personal computer allowance.
While engineering is an obvious field for applicants to want to study in, bursaries are also offered for study of:
- Accounting – to honours level
- Chemistry – to honours level
- Geology – to honours level
- Human Resources – from B.Com to honours level
Engineering degrees encompass a wide variety of courses, specifically:
- Electrical (specifically heavy current)
Successful bursary applicants are required to work for Implats for the same period of time it took to study for their degree – in other words for “the full period of the bursary”. They are also obliged to work during vacations at the end of each year, after their studies for the year are complete.
Typical Profile of Bursary Applicants Likely to be Accepted for Study
Implats is looking for tenacious individuals who show leadership potential and an ability to work with other team players. In addition, those who are likely to succeed in getting bursaries will be able to work well under pressure, and will have good abilities when it comes to solving problems. Generally the type of student who is likely to be accepted will have good common sense, and will have an innate ability to think logically and make sensible decisions. It is essential for potential bursars to be self-motivated and vital for them to have excellent communication skills.
The application form is straightforward, but it is essential for applicants to answer all questions honestly and accurately.
Applications will not be considered if the student does not have a university exemption with a rating code of five or a pass of 60 percent in Maths, Science and English.
How to Apply for an Implats Bursary
There are application forms for bursaries on the Implats web site. These are in a portable document format (pdf) and can be printed out and then completed before being returned to the company. All applications must be accompanied with a complete resume or curriculum vitae (CV); a certified copy of the applicant’s South African identity document; and certified proof of their most recent school or university results.
Applications must be posted to The Training Manager, Impala Platinum Bursary Department, PO Box 5683, Rustenburg 0300, and all applications must be received no later than March 31, 2015. If your application is successful, they will respond within 30 days. If it is not successful you will not get a reply. All preliminary interviews are conducted in Rustenburg, North West Province.
Bursaries for Students Wanting to Become a Chartered Accountant by BDO
BDO Spencer Steward South Africa is offering bursaries to Bachelor of Commerce students who are committed to studying chartered accounting. These are available at South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)-accredited universities in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The criteria set by the company include:
- You must be a South African citizen.
- You must have achieved at least 70 percent in matric for Accounting, Maths and English.
- You must already be studying or at least registered for a B.Comm accounting degree at one of South Africa’s SAICA-accredited universities.
- You must want to study chartered accounting, with majors in auditing and accounting.
The deal is that if you are granted a bursary by BDO Spencer Steward, you will join the company as a trainee accountant as soon as you get your degree. You will then continue your chartered accountant studies while employed by BDO.
During the period of the bursary, students must also be available to work for the firm during their holidays.
About BDO South Africa
BDO Spencer Steward, which operates in numerous countries internationally, is regarded as a mid-size company in South Africa. Essentially it offers professional accounting and auditing services, as well as business advice. The company prides itself on being able to compete with large firms while still being able to retain the ability to “care” about clients and their needs.
The company also prides itself on keeping advice simple and maintaining an open and transparent relationship with clients.
Corporate responsibility is also top of the list for BDO, and they constantly identify projects within local communities they can become involved in,primarily in terms of funding and support. One national project, Lapdesks, involves the distribution of lapdesks to underprivileged children. These are basically portable desks that can be used on the lap of a child. Thousands of these have been given away since 2007.
Students that are studying or who are registered to study for a South African chartered accountant qualification are invited to apply for BDO bursaries. This means that you must either be registered for a Bachelor of Commerce or equivalent degree at a university that is recognised by the SAICA. They are awarded annually according to academic merit and are limited to fees and a specified allowance for books. There is not a standardised amount available for each student, and the figures differ according to the BDO firm covering the bursary.
Bursaries are renewable each year, but it does depend on academic results, and the pass rate achieved in exams.
Ultimately, the BDO offer is in keeping with the FassetSETA mission that aims to ensure everyone working in the financial, accounting, management, consulting and other financial services sector (FASSET) has the necessary education and training to function effectively within the industry.
How to Apply for Bursaries from BDO
Information that must be supplied includes details of both school and any tertiary education completed. Printouts of results and certified copies of any qualifications and matric results must be supplied.
The applicant is expected to motivate the application and give details of personal achievements and any leadership roles that might be relevant. In addition, the company asks for information about applicants’ interests, extra-curricular activities, as well as hobbies. They want to know how these interests and activities have impacted on different people, and been of benefit.
Applicants are also required to say why they need a bursary to study and why they want to work for BDO Spencer Steward. So if you are planning to apply, you will also need to explain why you are a good candidate for the company and why you are pursuing a career in chartered accounting.
Application forms are available from the BDO website.
BDO has bursary application forms on its website.
Wholesale and Retail Learnerships by W&RSETA
The Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA), which has been operating in terms of the Skills Development Act for more than 14 years, implements strategies for national development in the huge wholesale and retail sector.
One of it’s most important roles is to initiate learnerships that enable “learners” to improve their knowledge, skills and ability in their chosen career. Learnerships also enable students to get a formal qualification that will enable them to get into the wholesale and retail industry quicker and more easily.
There is absolutely no doubt that people who take this route get increased employment opportunities once they have qualified. It is also an excellent route for learners who are already employed, but who are earning low wages because they do not have a proper qualification or the necessary experience to get ahead.
One of the most valuable aspects, as the W&RSETA points out, is that students are able to learn while they earn.
Benefits of Learnerships for Employers
Committed employers in the W&R sector agree that a learnership – which is essentially a “work-based education and training programme” linked to a valid registered National Qualifications Framework (NQF) qualification – is one of the best ways to facilitate empowerment of employees. It is also a brilliant way to develop a competent staff complement within businesses, and to ensure that workers get the relevant (very specific to an individual business) skills and experience.
Since employees who are qualified and experienced need less supervision, this will also improve the quality of work within the business, as well as overall productivity.
Employers also find that this is an ideal vehicle that may be used to address their employment equity targets, as well as to identify gaps that relate to skills and training.
Benefits for the W&R Industry as a Whole
The W&RSETA identifies three primary ways that learnerships benefit the industry:
1. They help to create a pool of skill personnel that is made up of more professional people.
2. They help to provide the W&R industry with direction so that it can develop according to general world standards.
3. The result of this programme is aimed to help the industry become more competitive in the global market as a whole.
The Role of the SETA in the Learnership Programme
While the W&RSETA facilitates and implements the programme, it does not recruit learners. This is the responsibility of the various employers and service providers, as well as training providers that specialise in industry-related learning opportunities.
To assist employers, service providers and training organisations and institutions, the SETA has formed partnerships with the Department of Labour (specifically the regional offices), the Centre for Youth Development (CYD), and the South African Graduates Association (SAGA) that provide databases of unemployed people who are looking for opportunities in the industry.
How to Register?
So if you are keen to forge a career in the wholesale and retail sector, make sure you are on at least one of these databases. There is also a list of registered qualifications and learnerships that is published by the W&RSETA. Currently all registration end dates are June 30, 2015. There is a Learnership Agreement on the W&RSETA website.
Mineral Education Trust Fund for South African Universities
The Braamfontein-based Mineral Education Trust Fund (METF) promotes, supports and does all it can to advance education in the field of minerals. It does this by providing funding that is used to supplement the salaries of academics teaching in the various mining disciplines: geology, and metallurgy and chemical engineering. These funds are generated by donations and ensure that the METF is able to contribute toward “sustainable access to the economy”.
The Mining Qualifications Authority of South Africa, established nearly two decades ago, is the SETA for mining and minerals, and one of the most successful Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) in the country. And it is the MqaSETA that sets the qualifications and unit standards for this particular educational sector.
Mining is, of course, an immensely critical industry and it is vital that people are well trained to teach those who will enter the industry as employees.
About the METF
Constituted 14 years ago, the METF’s main objective is to ensure that minerals education at tertiary level is sustainable within the country’s higher education institutions. Initially it grew from the previous Chamber of Mines Education Fund, but today it is not allied to the Chamber in any way, but has been constituted by its own Trust Deed.
It is recognised as an important funding body within the mining industry and in the sector to which the MqaSETA is allied.
The reality is that even though teachers of mining and metallurgical elements, geology, and minerals processing engineering are considered a vital part of the mining sector, salaries are considerably lower than those paid elsewhere in the industry. The METF therefore aims to increase salaries of MqaSETA-related teachers to within 66 percent to 80 percent of the industry norm. By doing this they are providing an incentive for teaching staff in the mining sector to continue teaching, and to encourage newcomers to the industry to consider academic careers teaching mining-related subjects.
Institutions Funded by METF
Universities in four of the country’s provinces are funded by the METF, and bursaries are available for a total of nine institutions, the:
- University of Witwatersrand’s Schools of Mining Engineering, Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, and Geosciences
- University of Pretoria’s Departments of Geology, Mining Engineering, and Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
- University of Johannesburg’s Departments of Geological Sciences, Extraction Metallurgy, and Mining Engineering
- UNISA’s Department of Electrical and Mining Engineering
- University of Stellenbosch’s Departments of Process Engineering, and Earth Sciences
- University of Cape Town’s Departments of Geological Sciences, and Chemical Engineering
- University of KwaZulu Natal’s School of Geological Sciences
- University of the Free State’s Department of Geology
- North West University’s School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering
How to Get Funding
Career Wise, a specialist company that manages scholarship and bursary programmes, handles all applications for funding by the METF, and they administrate the Fund.
Where to find the Application Form?
Applications forms are available from METF, but are sent to Career Wise.
Because the METF is registered as a public benefit organisation, those who donate to the fund are exempt from tax. The Fund also has a B-BBEE scorecard evaluation and contributions made can be claimed via socio-economic development.