Ondangwa — The SOS Children's Village Association of Namibia at Ondangwa recently hosted a 2012 Career Guidance Exhibition Fair for learners, which was a resounding success.
Ester Sakaria was the mastermind behind the first-ever career guidance fair for learners and she single-handedly organised the event. "This was certainly a successful career fair, which many residents and learners attended to get employment guidance," said Sakaria.
"With the support of the business community I am committed to creating economic development opportunities wherever possible," a proud Sakaria told New Era.
According to Sakaria, the unemployment rate continues to remain high and that is why efforts like hers are important.
"Therefore, it is imperative for colleges to do everything they can to assist students in obtaining employment."
"Expanding our job base is essential to our county's future. This turnout is a great example of the good that can come from government and the private sector working together," she said.
Sakaria noted that the region is faced with problems related to education, a skills deficit as well as a skills mis-match, because learners do not know which subjects to study for a particular career.
Over 100 job seekers attended the event, including learners, alumni and members of the public. The fair also attracted learners from Andimba Ya Toivo, Nangolo and Iihenda senior secondary schools.
The event featured local businesses, employers and recruiters interested in filling vacancies. "A good education builds the foundation for a successful career," Sakaria told New Era.
She said the career fair's success demonstrated that employers are also interested in hiring and that students are investing their efforts well before graduation in order to obtain employment after earning a college degree.
However, Sakaria expressed her disappointment with the low rate of participation by local businesses and urged them to get seriously involved in future career fairs.
The businesses which participated in the career fair included Julius Iitope Max Studio and Agribank.
"We are hopeful that their participation in future career fairs will lead to the learners making informed decisions when it comes to their future careers," she said.
According to Sakaria, the career fair was also aimed at empowering the unemployed with soft skills, information and face-to-face job-searching opportunities. Earlier, Ondangwa mayor Leonard Ronny Negonga said the event provided the learners a chance to explore career opportunities and applauded Sakaria for her efforts in organising the career fair.
He said the event came at the right time when the country is faced with the mammoth challenge of youth unemployment.
The Ondangwa Town Council will take part in the event in future.
The 2012 Career Guidance Exhibition Fair ended on a high note, with most unemployed young people expressing confidence about their future prospects.