On 6 September, CTEET in partnership with the City of Cape Town hosted a Graduation Ceremony for 41 youth who have recently completed year-long Nature Conservation learnerships. These programmes, funded by CATHSSETA, the Table Mountain Fund, and the City of Cape Town enable CTEET to identify passionate out-of-school youth to involve in the learnership. The learners are placed on nature reserves for a year of practical work experience and receive training and mentorship to graduate with a Certificate in Nature Conservation.

The event, held at the Biodiversity Showcase Gardens in Greenpoint, was an opportunity to celebrate the young conservationists and their entrance into the green economy. Attending the event to congratulate the graduates was Alderman Nieuwoudt who advised the group to keep making the decision each day to get up, get out and continue, despite their circumstances. She said “thank you for making us proud Capetonians, thank you for being the next generation to take us into the future. Instead of being users and destroyers of nature’s good, we need to replenish, we need to nurture and give back to nature. Those are the skills that you have learnt through this course.”

Our CEO Anthony Roberts commended the graduates on completing the programme and making the most of this opportunity, saying “we are proud of you – you make this programme what it is.” Through this programme, the Cape Town’s youth are being given the opportunity to enter the environmental sector where they can actively work to protect the City’s unique biodiversity, while at the same time being empowered to kick-start their careers.