Jobs fund to create 800 sustainable biodiversity jobs for graduates and matriculants

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Friday, January 25, 2013

800 unemployed graduates and matriculants in South Africa will gain valuable work experience in the environmental sector due to the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) Groen Sebenza Initiative.

The Groen Sebenza (Green Work) Initiative is a skills development and job creation pilot project and aims to provide sustainable job opportunities for 500 graduates and 300 matriculants in the environmental sector. SANBI has partnered with 33 organisations, including government, NGOs and the private sector to provide a range of opportunities for young South Africans in the field.The funding for the initiative was raised through the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) by SANBI in partnership with 33 organisations.

The programme is based on an incubator model and will team up previously disadvantaged young South Africans with experienced biodiversity professionals who will act as their mentors for a two and a half year period. Youth will gain valuable work experience in the biodiversity field and benefit from development and training opportunities.

"The main objective of the initiative is to grow capacity in the biodiversity sector through this major skills development and job creation programme which provides young, unemployed, previously disadvantaged graduates and matriculants with an opportunity to kick-start their environmental careers through a 2.5 year internship", says Catherine Ritchie from WESSA, one of the partner organisations.

A list of the opportunities available and application forms can be found on the SANBI website.  Positions include, but are not limited to; conservation workers, geographers, researchers, GIS technicians, biodiversity officers, environmental educators, engineers, biologists, tourism officers, and project managers. Some of the participating organisations include WESSA, Wildlands Conservation Trust, Cape Nature, the City of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, SANParks, the Department of Environmental Affairs, and Rhodes University. The closing date for applications is the 31 January 2013.

In order to qualify for the positions applicants should fulfil the following criteria:

  • Unemployed youth.
  • South African citizen.
  • Primary residence and schooling in rural areas.
  • A national matriculation certificate for the School leaver placement.
  • A national diploma or first B-degree for the Graduate placement.
  • A demonstrated and clearly articulated commitment to the environment.
  • A commitment to a career in the environmental sector.
  • Good leadership potential.

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Amanda Botes