Friday, 25 April 2014: Gauteng Acting Head of Department for Economic Development, Mr Albert Chanee, attended the graduation of 60 postgraduate students from the Coachlab™ leadership programme at The Innovation Hub in Tshwane today.
The Innovation Hub, 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 Department (GDED).
Acting HOD, Mr Albert Chanee said that the Coachlab™ programme has provided a crop of 258 leaders since its inception in 2001, who are now successful in the industry. “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 ICT and engineering run from The Innovation Hub in Pretoria; the University of the Witwatersrand’s Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering; and North West University in the Vaal Triangle Campus.
Coachlab™ is fully sponsored by Media Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) and industry partners who groom graduates to employ in their core businesses. The programme runs annually from March to November and it requires postgraduates to work on pre-determined projects while being supervised by industry experts in addition to providing students with work readiness assignments and mentorships.
Programme partners include the Jobs Fund, Cisco Systems South Africa, Cisco Technology and Services South Africa, BBD, Epi-Use, ZA-CR (previously known as UniForum SA), Hollard Insurance, Vodacom, State Information Technology Agency (SITA), South African Graduates Development Association (SAGDA),Standard Bank, Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering and our new sponsor for 2014/15, PwC. The Academic partners are: University of the Witwatersrand, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, UNISA and North West University.
Group CEO of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, Mr Siphiwe Ngwenya, said, “The collaboration between the private sector, academia and The Innovation Hub fits comfortably into our vision to position Gauteng as a smart province. This programme also indicates that we are committed to unlocking the potential of key growth and development areas to benefit South African youth, by tapping into skilled graduates and boosting their leadership and business acumen ”.
In 2013/14, the programme secured funding from the Jobs Fund which increased student participation from 31 to 70. The third CoachLab™ programme was launched in Vanderbijl-Park, at the North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus on 26 February 2014. For the year ended 31 March 2014, CoachLab™ had 10 industry sponsors and six academic partners. Media Information and Communication Technology Sectoral Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) has also been sponsoring the programme since 2007, which ensured that the quality of training and mentorship provided allows the students to compete effectively in the corporate world.
“We are pleased with the success and the impact of this programme to the postgraduates in the ICT and Engineering sector. Launched in 2001 as a pilot programme with the support from the University of Pretoria (UP), Epi-Use (Pty) Ltd,and The Innovation Hub as the facilitator. Its success led to a second Coachlab site (JCSE) and athird site, CoachLab@Vaal which was launched at the North West University, Vaal Triangle Campus on 26 February 2014”, said The Innovation Hub’s CEO, Mr McLean Sibanda.
One of the graduates from Coachlab@JCSE, Itumeleng Maimane, said “the CoachLab™ programme exposed me to real life industry projects, teaching us how to handle clients, deliverables and to be business savvy. The project management training was excellent because it gave me the structure in terms of how to approach any project (school and industry). I am now part of the graduate program at Rand Merchant Bank and CoachLab™ has given me this head start”.
-Ziphora Mosimane, CoachLab@JCSE 2012, said ‘CoachLab™ gave me the platform to learn and make mistakes in a protected environment. I have also received a bursary from the programme which helped me complete my BCom (Hons) IT Management studies. After my year at CoachLab™, I was approached by the Standard Bank Group IT Graduate programme in 2012 for a job interview and to join one of the best graduate programmes. Thereafter, I was offered a job as a Business Analyst in the Operations IT Rest of Africa team. In 2013, I joined Microsoft’s MACH (Microsoft Academy for College Hires) programme as a Service Delivery Manager within the Microsoft Services Division”.