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Scholarship offers funding for NC youths

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Scarce Skills programme is specifically offered to students in the Northern Cape, while Communities fund targets specific rural beneficiary communities in the Province.

Richardine Jardine, a Pofadder local, completed her Bachelor of Education degree last year with help from the Globeleq Scholarship Fund. Picture: Supplied

THE GLOBELEQ Scholarship Fund (GSF) is offering funding opportunities to youth across the Northern Cape for the upcoming 2021 academic year.

The programme, which launched six years ago to help develop young engineering students for the renewable energy industry and actively supports the transformation of the industry, now includes a category for scarce skills as well as for rural communities targeting specific rural beneficiary communities in the Northern Cape.

“The GSF is accountable for a sizeable percentage of renewable energy funded-scholarships, supporting 100% black youth and mostly women beneficiaries, setting an ambitious target not only for the renewable energy industry but for other sectors who are striving to support the transformation agenda of this country,” Hlengiwe Radebe, economic development director for Globeleq, said.

The GSF Engineering fund is designed to support the renewable energy sector and ensure a pipeline of qualified talent. It is offered nationally through institutions offering mechatronic or electrical engineering and is specifically aimed at students studying mechatronic or electrical engineering.

The GSF Scarce Skills programme is specifically offered to students in the Northern Cape wishing to pursue degrees or certificates in education, agriculture or nursing. These areas need these types of skills to support regional economic development.

The third fund, namely GSF Communities, supports localised development and is offered to students residing within a 50km radius in which Globeleq’s renewable energy power plants operate, namely De Aar Solar Power, Droogfontein Solar Power, Aries Solar Power, Konkoonsies Solar Power and Boshof Solar Power. This is a broad reach from the northern Upington area, across to Kimberley in the east and down to towns around De Aar and Britstown in the south of the Province.

“Since 2016, the GSF recipients have been 100% black youth and over 55% female for the last three years. The programme utilises a less conventional and holistic approach to funding, by typically not only focusing on academic achievement, but rather on financial need, location of the students and gender to demonstrate its commitment to increase the cache of women engineers in the country and to the sector,” Radebe said.

She added that the GSF has adjusted over the years, to consistently provide young people with exposure to the renewable energy industry, as well as offering opportunities through an internship programme for beneficiaries to gain the necessary work experience. “Specifically, the opportunity for national diploma students to complete their required in-service training and thereby fill the technical skills gap within the renewable energy industry.”