#Youth4Nature: Shaping our transformational leaders
During June, the country reflected on the significant role young people continue to play in shaping our future and WWF recognises the valuable contribution that our youth bring to South Africa’s transition to a green economy. This year, WWF South Africa has placed 50 bright post-graduate interns across various partner organisations in the sector as well as associated corporates with a sustainability focus.
The WWF-SA Graduate Internship Programme forms part of WWF’s Environmental Leaders Programme. It provides a practical and paid work integrated learning experience as a bridge from learning into work.
Over 12 months, this dynamic group of post-graduates from various academic disciplines will be exposed to working for the environment as well as specialised workshops to build workplace-based competence, confidence and leadership capabilities.
Roles range from the more traditional conservation jobs such as Ecologists, Marine Biologists and Conservation Scientists to emerging areas of specialisation, including Environmental Economists, Urban and Regional Planners, Energy Efficiency Technicians and Statistical Ecologists, to name a few.
With support from mentors and peers, interns will be exposed to hands-on training experiences and networking opportunities to bolster their professional careers and employability.
The internship programme has grown from seven placements in 2011 to 50 in 2017. The first 14 interns were funded through the Fondation Hoffman – which further catalysed funding from the WWF Nedbank Green Trust and South Africa’s Ministry of Higher Education and Training’s National Skills Fund.
One third of the interns find employment in government while almost half in the private sector,and the rest within ngos.
Glenda Raven, Senior Manager for the Environmental Leaders Programme, says that investing in green skills development through these internships means investing in the people who want to make a positive contribution to the environment, and future decisions for our country and its people.
“We aim to enable long-term good governance for the environment, and to ultimately embed green skills into the national system of skills planning and development. In this way we can strengthen the sector and contribute to the human well-being of all,” she adds.
To meet some of the interns visit the #Youth4Nature page.