South Africa (University of Johannesburg) PEERC gives graduates workplace exposure

In November 2020, the Water Research Commission (WRC) launched a Water Graduate Employment Programme (WaterGEP) funded by the WRC and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) to provide workplace exposure for 400 graduates. Due to the overwhelming success of Phase 1 of the WaterGEP, the WRC launched a second phase in Nov 2021. This program consisted of 3 streams:

  • Stream 1: 500 new graduates on a Work Exposure program
  • Stream 2: A 300 grad Entrepreneurship Ideation Incubator
  • Stream 3: Employment stream for 100 grads;

The Public and Environmental Economics Research Centre (PEERC) was selected to partner with WRC in stream one, which involved the matching and placement of 500 graduates with hosts from academia, government, private organizations, and institutions nationally for workplace exposure.

The objectives of this program include the following:

  • Improvement in skills, knowledge, and attitude of graduates;
  • Preparation of graduates to be workplace ready;
  • Providing graduates with some workplace exposure and experience;
  • Sourcing of Companies/institutions who are willing and easily able to manage similar future programs;
  • Improved employability of graduates;
  • Long-term reduction in graduates’ unemployment.

PEERC hosted two graduates for six months through the WaterGEP program. Since the program’s conclusion in June 2022, 1 graduate has been offered employment at the research center.

Partners such as PEERC are intimately involved with projects primarily in the research sphere of Water and Sanitation and were instrumental in mentoring and providing insight into avenues for career development that graduates could pursue. This information and time spent with experienced senior personnel were invaluable to the graduates insomuch as to award the Head of PEERC, Jugal Mahabir, a certificate of appreciation for lending his extensive experience in the area to the development of eager graduates. A special mention must be made to Ms. Nadia Hoosen, who tirelessly facilitated and ensured that the Graduate Placement process was smooth from start to finish. To all involved, thank you, and congratulations on a job well done.