Johnson & Johnson Bridge To Employment Program Launched
Author: Johnson & Johnson
Students, parents and educators from Zwaanswyk High School in Retreat, joined employees from Johnson & Johnson and the National Business Initiative to celebrate the launch of the very first Bridge to Employment Programme (BTE) in Africa.
Students, parents and educators from Zwaanswyk High School in Retreat, joined employees from Johnson & Johnson and the National Business Initiative to celebrate the launch of the very first Bridge to Employment Programme (BTE) in Africa … right here in Cape Town.
BTE programs have been located in more than 35 communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as nine international locations in Asia, Europe, and South America. The program is being run on four continents in 9 countries with over 5 000 BTE graduates and is managed globally by the Academy for Educational Development (AED). The launch in Cape Town sees the first BTE program on the African continent, and Johannesburg will soon follow suit.
The National Business Initiative (NBI) is the South African coordinating agency responsible for managing the programme that will span three years. Other partners in delivering this programme include the Western Cape Education Department, University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The University of Cape Town has been appointed as external evaluator. The BTE programme is funded by leading healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson.
The BTE programme is built on strong School-to-Career Models and research and strives to increase the number of students who enroll in higher education with the aim of pursuing a career in the health care sector. The success of the programme is based on the use of a common core of school-to-career principles:
- Maintaining high standards of academic learning for all students
- Providing opportunities for contextual or applied learning
- Connecting students with various careers and adults in the workplace
- Creating links with institutions of higher education
Eugene Daniels, District Director of the Metropole South Education District, Western Cape Education Department (WCED) told the audience at the recent launch that less than 12% of employed people are working in their areas of strength. This program paves the way for these learners to better understand their strengths and choose careers that will augment their capabilities.
Laura Nel, Head of Corporate Affairs for Johnson & Johnson told the students that a career in health care is not only about becoming doctors or nurses. ”There are over 2 000 health care positions to choose from and this program will give you the tools necessary to make an informed decision about what you want to study when you leave school.”
Nel continued that besides academic support in Mathematics and Science, great emphasis will be placed on Life Skills in order to improve the students’ emotional intelligence and ‘soft’ skills needed to navigate their way through the world of tertiary education and a possible career in the health sector. Viwe Mtshontshi, the Southern African representative of the Academy for Educational Development, explained how the program keeps the students interested – through academic and applied learning, career exploration and higher education linkages, in the form of mentorship relationships, skills workshops, career exposure and fun things like ‘Lunch ‘n Learns’ where the students get to meet Johnson & Johnson health care professionals, to learn more about the various careers available within health.
Johnson & Johnson professionals will undergo training in July that will equip them to act as Mentors to the Zwaanswyk BTE Learners, providing support to the learners throughout the three years that the programme will run. Nadia Pillay, a pharmacist at Johnson & Johnson is excited about working with the Zwaanswyk BTE Learners – “The BTE programme is very special and I am looking forward to participating in the programme” she said. Pillay went on to add “ I just know that I am going to learn a lot whilst hopefully providing some input and encouragement into a young person’s future professional life. it’s a great feeling”.
For further enquiries: Laura Nel
Corporate Affairs Manager
Cell : 083 357 8938
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org