Aug 2022 1st edition

Women urged to explore the chemicals sector

Written by Allison Cooper

Young women who are not yet sure which career path they want to follow should consider the chemicals sector, which offers various career fields.

This is according to the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA), which facilitates skills development through various training initiatives in the chemical and manufacturing industries.

Lilitha Sobuza (23) from Khayelitsha in Cape Town, who is studying towards a National Diploma in Chemical Engineering, is one of the young women who have received funding and assistance from CHIETA.

“CHIETA ensured my placement at Fine Chemicals Corporation to complete my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme and has given me the great opportunity to start my career and develop my skills in the chemical sector,” she says.

Her interest in the sector was inspired by the opportunities available in various industries, such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and fuels.Lilitha Sobuza is studying towards a National Diploma in Chemical Engineering thanks to assistance from CHIETA.

“The chemical sector develops products that make life easier for others. I wanted to be a part of this and knew it would provide numerous opportunities for me.”

This Women’s Month, Sobuza encourages women to explore and contribute to the sector.

“There are still more men than women in the sector, but having equal opportunities will ensure progress and development in society. Women have been contributing to the sector since the beginning of time and I strongly believe they should continue to do so,” she says.

Sobuza hopes to obtain an Advanced Diploma in Chemical Engineering and enter the pharmaceutical industry.

CHIETA is invested in youth-centre programmes, including learnerships, apprenticeships, WIL, bursaries, targeted skills and entrepreneurial development programmes. It also offers support for start-ups and SMMEs.

“Our new vision means we’ve adjusted our purpose to be broader than simply skills development and training. We’re now in the business of sustainable livelihoods,” says CHIETA CEO Yershen Pillay

Apply for assistance

All SETAs, including CHIETA, assist students to obtain their qualifications by providing financial support and connecting them with companies to get the practical experience they need to take advantage of work opportunities.

For more information about CHIETA and careers in the chemicals sector, visit

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