Estate Construction’s graduate program eases the unemployment burden
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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The ever rising unemployed rate in Botswana, now standing at 18% continues to be an eyesore for both skilled and unskilled labour. For the young graduate, reality strikes twice that the most sought after work experience by employers is a fallacy to them even more painful that their qualifications, meant to open doors for them is not the key to a bright future anymore.  As a result of this gloomy picture for a fresh graduate, Estate Construction deemed it fit to fill that gap with the introduction of a Graduate Program that has groomed market ready professionals. Since inception in 2016, over P2 milllion has been spent on the program. 

For Tshenolo Sesowa, an Occupational Health and Safety graduate from Boitekanelo College this is an opportunity of a lifetime for her considering the harsh realities of unemployment. She is amongst the 28 who are freshmen in the current cohort of the Graduate Program . Sesowa, who does not want to settle for average in her field of study has always preferred challenging duties in her previous internships i.e. at a power station at Gumare as such she has eased into her role at Estate Construction. She is part of the team at the exciting development at Central Business District (CBD) site of Hotel 4:30.  

“I consider myself very fortunate to have been selected for this program because most industry experience is merely through a three month program of internship which is usually not adequate for maximum exposure. This is an opportunity I will explore more to build me into the SHE officer I ultimately want to be, one that brings change,” enthused a confident Sesowa.

The Graduate Program for fresh graduates who are only equipped with the theoretical knowledge but lacking in practice, has to date 40 graduates (12 already employed and 28 in their first year of the current program). This mismatch between industry expectations (of usually a work experience of three years and above in comparison to what tertiary institutions are offering already spells doom for these graduates whose only wish is to penetrate and strive in this highly technical environment.

“We intend to help the graduates to be employable by any organization after the training. The 3 years and above work experience requirement by employers is usually unobtainable for fresh graduates while the universities are busy sending graduates into the economy year after year. On the other hand, the industry is busy providing services and products to the economy but only with and through experienced professionals, not fresh graduates,” explained Maynard Kandaya, Estate Construction’s Contracts Manager.


Another graduate, Omphemetse Sebangane, a civil engineer graduate stationed at the Kanye Sewerage Scheme project concurs that on site experience so far has been worthwhile for him. He said he is particularly happy with the mentorship he is getting even within the short period of time he has been with the program since March 2021.


The program is structured such that at the end of the three years, the graduate is ready for the job market and industry compliant in that they can register with their professional regulatory bodies for instance Engineers Registration Board (ERB) in the case of engineers. On the first year, they are taken through survival skills that cover living within one’s means, taking instructions and working under someone, discipline, how to complete tasks, and learning Botswana’s laws. On the second year, they are taken through team work or being a team player and in year three they get the impartation of supervisory and management skills. To ensure that the skills acquired are recognized in the market, the trainings are administered through accredited trainers and institutions.

All these skills are being imparted to strike a balance between one’s social and professional life to groom a well-rounded professional.

 According to Kandaya, they have an ambitious plan for the program. Their ultimate goal is establishing a Graduates Centre for Professional Practice where graduates would be housed under one roof to practice production, innovation and manufacturing. In their quest to give back to the nation and further contribute to a thriving construction industry, Estate Construction recognizes the need to collaborate with stakeholders such as institutions of higher learning that produce these graduates by getting into memorandum of agreements whose talks are ongoing in a bid to forge a cohesive working relation.

The program has attracted civil engineers, occupational health and safety and real estate property management graduates who either have been absorbed by the Estate group or employed elsewhere while more graduates such as architects, mechanical and electrical engineers continue to show interest. Some of Estate Construction’s current employees who continue to climb up the professional ladder have been entrusted with challenging roles with ease. These include Marang Isaacs, now an Office Manager and spearheading the Graduate Program, Tshegofatso Nkwe , a Property Manager, Ofentse Mangwai, and Tommy Nzamani(Site Engineers), Chandapiwa France(Human Resources officer), Mpho Rowland(Project Management) and  Mr Thatayaone Bojosi (Mechanic). These officers have also continued to pursue further studies in their respective professions with the financial assistance of their employer.