Samsung Future Innovation Lab At University Of Western Cape Celebrates The Graduating Class Of 2021Share open/close
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 15 June 2021 – Samsung South Africa and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) have announced the graduation of the second cohort of the Samsung Future-Innovation Lab and cohort 1 of the Microsoft AppFactory on the UWC campus in Cape Town. At a special ceremony held today the new graduates were applauded for their achievement despite the difficulty of learning during Covid-19. Samsung supported the learners with tablets, laptops and access to data to overcome these challenges and thus enabling remote learning.
The Samsung Future-Innovation Lab, which began in September 2019, aims to provide an opportunity to previously disadvantaged youth to gain skills in software development and digital social innovation. The six-month programme focuses on:
- The development of software development skills and portfolios that can open doors to employment or further training;
- The development of transferable skills and experience in digital social innovation and
- The fostering of pathways into industry networks.
In addition to the six-month development experience, Samsung and UWC partnered with the Microsoft AppFactory to deliver an advanced nine-month software development programme to address the gap of high-demand software skills. The target group for this programme is more experienced software developers who lack practical or work experience. The programme aims to facilitate hands-on, real-world experience through creativity and fun in a learning and working environment.
“Samsung has prioritised education and training in software development, engineering, business management and entrepreneurship skills. In doing so, we believe that as the programme grows, more of South Africa’s youth can successfully apply their new skills, which are highly sought-after in the country’s digital economy.The programme is also aligned with Samsung’s global mission ‘Enabling People’, which is aimed at aiding people, discovering and developing their full abilities and harnessing the potential for success that exists in the technology sector., “said Hlubi Shivanda, Director: Business Innovation Group and Corporate Affairs at Samsung South Africa.
The programme is an integral part Samsung’s R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) launched in 2019. The 84 students are now the proud beneficiaries of this long-term vision for growth and success. The graduates included 36 students from the short course in multi-platform software development, 41 students from the short course in Digital Social Innovation and 7 students from the Microsoft AppFactory programmes, who can all now begin a well-supported career in the ICT sector. The graduates were pleased to have received this incredible opportunity.
Student Mikaela Gabriel, who described the programme as ‘life-changing’, said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine an opportunity like this could happen to me. I have not only acquired a new skill set, but this course has also helped me grow in more ways that I never knew I would. There were challenging days but the entire world was going through those challenges with COVID-19; this taught me to never give up.” Another student, Tegwen Galant, added: “When I started this course, I was very anxious as I was trying to find my feet and make my mark in the tech world. It’s great to know this platform exists and will help ease unemployment.”
The Samsung-UWC partnership will continue to make a meaningful difference in young people’s lives through capacity building programmes such as these. This life-changing opportunity raises the prospects for employment for these students. Samsung is looking forward to the new intake of recruits for the new academic period and wish them well on their journey of success.
“The students in the second cohort of the Future-Innovation Programme, our innovative partnership with Samsung, were onboarded on their learning journey amid the Covid-19 lockdown. For these young students, many of which are coming from challenging backgrounds, the realities of the pandemic were very real. One thing that we all learnt during these trying times was the fact that digital technologies can empower us to connect in inspiring ways,” said Professor José Frantz, UWC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation.
Prof Frantz also commended Samsung for comprehensively supporting students by ensuring that they had sufficient data to learn and access to the devices they needed. “We celebrate this partnership as it is helping us to live our motto of ‘making research and innovation count through connecting possibilities’, by bringing hope through skills development, leveraging technology for connecting to human problems and enabling learning even in difficult contexts.”
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