The opportunity to write reports, use mapping software, attend courses and visit fishing company installations were identified as some of the advantages of participating in the first intake of the SADSTIA Graduate Internship Programme which came to an end in April.
The programme provided 12-month internships to 20 young graduates, thanks to a partnership with the conservation organisation WWF South Africa and the Transport, Education and Training Authority (TETA).
The 20 interns, who hold a broad range of qualifications, including degrees in environmental science, aquaculture, human resources, political science and auditing, were placed at SADSTIA’s member companies, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, and at the offices of SADSTIA and its umbrella association, FishSA.
“Interns said they had benefited from working in a business environment, and had gained good experience by taking part in projects, interacting and networking with colleagues and being introduced to new fields such as risk assessment, or the maintenance of fishing vessels,” said Research Assistant, Fisokuhle Mbatha, who managed the first intake of the SADSTIA Graduate Internship Programme between April 2019 and March 2020.
The success of the first intake paves the way for SADSTIA to prepare for a second intake said the chairman of the Association, Terence Brown.
“There is a need to bring about change in the commercial fishing industry and the Graduate Internship Programme has helped to unlock by doors for young professionals, while simultaneously tackling the issue of graduate unemployment,” said Brown.
“SADSTIA is proud to have established the Graduate Internship Programme because it takes our members’ commitment to critical skills development to a new level.”
The first intake of the SADSTIA Graduate Internship programme represents an investment by SADSTIA members of R1.9 million.