Virginia Airshow hosts aviation career day to inspire learners

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The Durban Virginia Airshow, which took place on Saturday 9 September, is an opportunity for aviation enthusiasts, families, and thrill-seekers to enjoy the extraordinary aerobatic talent that we have in South Africa.

Besides the entertainment and enjoyment of the airshow, the event was also used to promote and nurture the next generation of aviation professionals. As such, Virgina Airshow organisers and sponsors, including Shell Aviation, hosted an Aviation Career Day on Friday 8 September to inspire and inform young minds about the vast range of exciting careers available in the aviation.

Many learners from schools in KwaZulu Natal, as in many other areas of the country, might dream of wanting to fly, but might never believe it a possibility. With less than 10% of pilots in South Africa being black, coloured or Indian, lack of transformation in the South African aviation sector is a real challenge. Aimed at Grade 11 and 12 learners from underserved communities, this day comprised of various engaging activities, including interactive workshops, panel discussions, informative presentations, and hands-on demonstrations. Attendees also had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and explore the different career paths available.

Learners who may be interested in pursuing a career in aviation got to interact with representatives from the South African Airforce, aviation experts and industry professionals.

“As part of Shell’s focus on nation building, we are committed to promoting and nurturing the next generation of aviation professionals which is key to the long-term success of the aviation industry. It is of importance that companies like Shell provide the youth with insights and opportunities that are available in the aviation industry which will encourage them to pursue careers in science & technology,” says Country Operations Manager at Shell Downstream South Africa, Refilwe Rundofa. “As a responsible corporate citizen committed to powering progress in education it is our responsibility to engage with young individuals, introducing them to various aviation possibilities”, says Rundofa.

Hundreds of learners who have all shown an interest in pursuing a STEM related career, descended on Virginia Airport to interact and meet some of the country’s best pilots and aviation stakeholders and learnt more about career opportunities in this exciting industry. Some of these students might well be the pilots, technicians and aircraft manufacturers of tomorrow.