There are conversations that are regarded unorthodox or taboo to be discussed with people senior than of yourself. These may be deep concerns, problems in the work place, which may leave one, judged or unfavourable to those that usually conceal their feelings.
A vibrant group of young people came in their numbers to meet with the MEC.
The MEC of Public works and Human Settlements broke the ice on 12 December 2017, by inviting all Public Works’ interns, bursary holders and professionals to speak their heart and to share all of their concerns in an open platform where he could address them.
The directorate Human Resources Management was at the centre of this event as they organised for this platform of communication to be made possible.
Before the MEC’s engagement with the students, there were a few talks by management on the number of bursary holders in the last five years as well as those that have achieved and completed professional registration.
Management also shared insights on some of the challenges that are faced by young professionals as well as the utilisation of interns on strategic projects of the Department. What was evident by all of the speeches is how each of the students are important to the Department of Public Works and each of them can play a significant role to empower the nation.
The MEC appealed to our students about their experience at a post qualification level as well as what they felt about the difference between the public and private sector. Mr Pillay was also interested to know the students’ overall feelings about the bursary programme, the internship programme and their steps to becoming professionals.
The response to his questions was phenomenal, with enriched responses from the students. The positive reaction was remarkable, with students sharing their heartfelt experiences of what they have learnt and what they hope to achieve. Some even encouraged other students that would be facing similar concerns, on how to overcome challenges and how to be proactive.
This was an altogether constructive and optimistic session, which deeply moved the MEC who told the crowd that “there needs to be a regular platform for this kind of engagement”. The MEC also wished that there were many more platforms where professionals can “share their ideas and be inspired”. In closure, the MEC said, “next year we celebrate 100 years of Madiba’s life; let us use his ideas to inspire us as a nation”. There is a tremendous support structure for our professionals, bursary holders and interns from our MEC, acting Head of Department, Management and personnel; this paves a fruitful journey for the students of Public Works.