Rooivalk Major Corne Stadler with learners at Parys Airshow in June 2023.

Virginia Airshow to host aviation career day to inspire learners

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The Durban Virginia Airshow, taking place on September 9, 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 is also being used to promote and nurture the next generation of aviation professionals. As such, Virgina Airshow organisers and sponsors, including Shell Aviation, are hosting an Aviation Career Day on September 8 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 grades 11 and 12 learners from underserved communities, this day will comprise of various engaging activities, including interactive workshops, panel discussions, informative presentations, and hands-on demonstrations. Attendees will also have the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and explore the various career paths available.

Learners who may be interested in pursuing a career in aviation will get 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 and technology,” says the Country Operations Manager at Shell 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 will descend on Virginia Airport this Friday to interact with and meet some of the country’s best pilots and aviation stakeholders and learn more about career opportunities in this exciting industry. Some of these students might well be the pilots, technicians and aircraft manufacturers of tomorrow.