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The 2017 edition of the annual JB Marks Career Exhibition is heading to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape from 24 to 25 April at the Mthatha Airport Hangers. This year will see JB Marks Education Trust Fund, in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education reach an estimated target of 8000 learners from the district of Mthatha and the surrounding areas. The JB Marks Career Exhibition is a community outreach program that began in 2011 with the aim of reaching learners in South Africa’s most rural areas, to give them an opportunity to access information on various careers available in different industries across South Africa, and the world. Last year, a total assortment of 47 private and public organisations took part in the JB Marks Career Exhibition in Ventersdorp, North West. This year, 50 organisations have confirmed their participation thus far. Jako Mokgosi, Principal Officer of JB Marks Education Trust Fund said “This is one of our biggest annual events, and it is significant in that it is designed to uplift our communities. It makes a real impact in the lives of learners that we reach and our exhibitors enjoy participating in our Career Exhibition – particularly because there is no cost to exhibit, it is free of charge because ultimately, it is about the impact of the information we share with these learners”. Some of the organisations that are set to participate in this year’s instalment of the JB Marks Career Exhibition are regular participants and they include Monash University, South African Banking Association (SABA), FNB, PWC, SAPS Forensics, Department of International Relations, MERSITA, Rhodes University, SANBS, TETA, Financial Services Board, Ubank, Tsogo Sun, Post Bank, Unisa and Stats SA – to name but a few. Eunice Sibiya, Head of the Consumer Education Program at FNB explains “we have been part of the JB Marks Career Exhibition since its inauguration six years ago and as an institution committed to contributing towards building a better South Africa through different educational platforms, we could not be more proud of the impact we have made by taking part in this initiative. We truly look forward to the Eastern Cape edition of this monumental career guidance program”. There are many new and exciting things that have been introduced in this edition of the JB Marks Career Exhibition, including the participation of popular Umhlobo Wenene radio DJ, Putco Mafani as the MC. Mafani will bring a refreshing and entertaining element to the program, particularly because of how popular he is with young people. In addition, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) General Secretary David Sipunzi, NUM Education Chairperson Helen Diatile, MEC of Basic Education Mr Mandla Makupula, Cluster Chief Director Mr Thembane Mtyida and the Executive Mayor Councillor of King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality Mr Dumani Zozo in the Eastern Cape will all attend the Career Exhibition. The JB Marks Career Exhibition has habitually always been a collective effort between JB Marks, the Department of Basic Education, the community and the schools – hence, its consistent success.According to Mtyida “the Department is proud to be part of an initiative that feeds into some of our vision objectives, such as providing quality programmes to build the capacity of all employees – because ultimately, every learner that completes high school will eventually go into the workforce, and for that, they need to be pointed in the right direction of what a suitable career is for them as individuals. It is our hope that the JB Marks Career Exhibition will be beneficial to our learners, and we encourage organisations to take part in initiatives such as this – initiatives aimed at making positive contributions to South Africa”. JB Marks Education Trust Fund celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year, an impressive milestone for an organisation established by the National Union of Mineworkers back in 1997. This year’s Career Exhibition will be themed to celebrate this milestone and the Trust intends for it to be the biggest one yet.