Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Disadvantaged pupils get work experience

ORT South Africa, a non-profit ­educational and developmental organisation, has teamed up with retailer Mr Price to launch a project that provides grade 11 and 12 pupils with opportunities to gain practical workplace experience so that they are “work ready”.

Called “Work Shadowing”, the three-year project targets ­pupils, mainly from poor backgrounds, and offers them training in Sector Education and Training Authority-approved courses such as marketing, project management and paralegal practice.

Mike King, project manager of the initiative, said this forms part of ORT SA’s broader programme, called “Geared for Life”. He said since its launch in June this year the project has helped around 150 pupils.
King said ORT draws pupils from the communities of Diepsloot, Alexandra, Soweto and Cosmo City, who attend ­training at ­weekends.

Its main ­responsibility is to approach ­companies and ask them to have pupils shadow one of their ­employees who works within ORT’s focus areas. The response has been positive.

How Mr Price helps
Mr Price has embraced the programme as part of “The Red Cap Foundation”, a corporate social investment vehicle through which the company helps communities through a range of education initiatives. The retailer has so far taken 70 of 360 ORT SA pupils and sent them to ­different stores throughout Gauteng to gain “experiential ­training” in areas like distribution and finance.

Feedback from some of the ­managers involved in the project is encouraging, King said. “One store manager expressed ­enthusiasm and admiration at the calibre of the pupils and said their ­willingness to work has been quite ­outstanding. These ­sentiments have been re­iterated by all managers we ­interviewed from other branches,” he said.

He added that he is positive pupils will be easily integrated into the working world because of the ­practical skills gained during their “shadowing” experience.

For information, schools can ­contact King on (011) 728-7154 or visit ORT SA’s website: or email: [email protected]

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Thabo Mohlala
Guest Author

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

More top stories

Ramaphosa hits the right notes as he urges Cosatu to...

Cosatu meets to deliberate on its support for the governing party in the upcoming local government elections

DA insists IEC favoured the ANC after Constitutional Court dismisses...

The apex court’s dismissal of the Democratic Alliance’s application to declare reopening candidate registration unlawful came as no surprise

‘Factional’ ANC Veterans League chastised by Motlanthe

ANC Limpopo leaders called on the election committee to change the candidate lists in favour of Ramaphosa faction days before Motlanthe’s report on factions in the party

Sisters pave the way with ecobricks

The durable bricks are made from 30% recycled plastic, some of which they collect from a network of 50 waste pickers

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…