PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT DEVELOPS LEADERS IN ICT AND ENGINEERING
Wednesday, 20 March 2013: Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Mr Nkosiphendule Kolisile, celebrated the graduation of 31 postgraduate students from the Coachlab™ leadership programme at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria yesterday afternoon.
The Innovation Hub (TIH), Africa’s first accredited science and technology park, is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development.
MEC Kolisile said that the Coachlab™ programme has provided a crop of 188 leaders since its inception in 2001. “This programme eases the transition from tertiary education into industry, as students are exposed to innovation while they work on industry projects,” he said.
Coachlab™ is a postgraduate leadership programme in the fields of ICT and engineering run from The Innovation Hub in Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand’s Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering.
Coachlab™ is fully sponsored by MICT Seta and industry partners who use the programme as an opportunity to train graduates to employ in their core businesses. The programme runs annually from March to November and it requires the postgraduate students to work on pre-determined projects at the CoachLab™ supervised by industry experts in addition to providing students with work readiness assignments and mentorships.
Current programme sponsors include Media Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Seta, Standard Bank, Cisco Systems. Uniform SA, Epi-Use Africa, BBD, Hollard, Microsoft and its BEE partners (Home Grown Business Integration, Chillisoft and Maxxor). The academic partners are the University of Johannesburg, the University of the Witwatersrand and its Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering.
Acting CEO of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, Siphiwe Ngwenya, said, “This collaboration between the private sector, academic institutions and The Innovation Hub fits snugly into our vision to position Gauteng as a smart province by tapping into skilled graduates and boosting their leadership and business acumen”.
In the year 2013/14, TIH entered into partnership with the State Information Technology Agency for the development of unemployed ICT graduates. The Innovation Hub CEO McLean Sibanda said that this programme will impact 60 youth who have completed the initial 3 year qualification with the aim of exposing them to the ICT industry for future employment within the government ICT sector.
“From a pilot project launched in 2001 with support from the University of Pretoria, a private company (epi-Use (Pty) Ltd and TIH as the facilitator, the Coachlab has explanded to include a second site at Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). This year, we are expanding to a third site, Coachlab at the Vanderbijlpark campus of the University of North West,” said Sibanda.
One of the graduates from Coachlab@JCSE, Thuli Nkosi, said she has benefited a lot from the programme. “CoachLab™has sharpened my skills. We were trained on leadership skills, time management, the basics of business etiquette and how to embrace diversity in the evolving world in which we live,” she said. “I fully recommend the programme to other students as it offers a competitive advantage over fellow job seekers.” Nkosi is employed at Hollard, one of CoachLab’s sponsors.
Matome Rapasha, developer of a software based project from Pretoria CoachLab@Hub said, “I have gained a lot from the programme, to the extent that I am ready to be my own boss.” Rapasha applied for pre-incubation at Maxum Business Incubator and has been accepted.
Issued by The Innovation Hub Management Company. For more information, please contact Linah Nematandani, Communication and Marketing Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 012 844 0030 or 076 7179878, Follow us on twitter @Innovhub and like us on Facebook InnovhubZA
The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, previously knbown as Blue IQ and GEDA, is a merged agency by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED). The gauteng Growth and Development Agency is the implementation arm of the GDED and assists the deaprtment in leading, facilitating and managing sustainable job creation and inclusive eeconomic growth and development in the Gauteng City Region. For more information visit www.ggda.co.za
or contact Mr Stephen Watson, Executive: Strategic Promotions & Marketing on +27 83 380 3350.
About The Innovation Hub
The Innovation Hub, a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) is Africa’s first internationally accredited Science Park and a full member of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP). It is strategically located in Tshwane, South Africa's executive capital, in the 'smart' Province of Gauteng. TIH implements the initiatives identified in the Gauteng Innovation Strategy and Green Economy Strategy to advance the economic development and growth of the province through innovation. The Innovation Hub has created a unique space for high-tech entrepreneurs, world-class businesses, academics, researchers and venture capitalists to meet, network and prosper.