THE Future-Innovation Lab at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), a collaboration between UWC and Samsung South Africa for technological education and empowerment, recently completed the first three years of its R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) 10-year Software Development Skills Training Programme.
Cape Business News
As part of the programme, Samsung announced its Research and Development (R&D) Academy project partnership with UWC. The Samsung & UWC Future Innovation Lab & App Factory Programme was launched in 2019 with the goal to equip individuals from diverse backgrounds with the technical expertise and life skills necessary to thrive in the digital age.
As the programme reaches the conclusion of its first phase, its achievements have been transformative. This landmark achievement reflects both parties’ commitment to fostering professional growth, personal development and societal progress through the power of education and innovation.
Unleashing Technical Excellence:
Over the past three years, the programme has empowered its beneficiaries with comprehensive training in cutting-edge software development technologies. Participants have gained proficiency in high-demand coding languages, software architecture, web and mobile app development, database management, and more.
The hands-on and project-based approach has ensured that graduates emerge not just with theoretical knowledge, but also with the practical skills demanded by the modern job market.
The Samsung EEIP Software Academy, through its Future-Innovation Lab programme has since inception been striving to provide an opportunity to deserving black youth (18-35) to gain skills in software development and digital social innovation. The measurable outcome of this programme has been to enhance employability by ensuring that UWC students are attaining permanent employment through Samsung’s partner network.
Just over 70% of the Foundational Introduction to Software Development Programme’s 161 beneficiaries have already been successfully placed and taken up in industry. The Samsung & UWC Future Innovation Lab & App Factory Internship programme has achieved a 95% industry uptake rate, with 22 beneficiaries being employed at specialist Robotic Process Automation Developers with IOCO, one of the leading software companies in the country.
A core focus has been to address the lack of female software developers in the industry. In this regard, the partners in this programme have managed to achieve 90% female representation in the third cohort and are looking forward to continuing to address this significant empowerment challenge.
Empowering Lives Beyond Code:
While the acquisition of technical skills is central, the programme’s emphasis on holistic development sets it apart. Participants have not only learnt how to craft elegant lines of code but have also entrenched essential life skills. Soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management have been woven into the curriculum, ensuring that graduates are well-rounded individuals poised for success in both their careers and personal lives.
As the programme enters its fourth year, the partners remain committed to shaping the future through education. With innovation as its driving force, the Samsung & UWC Future-Innovation Lab is poised to introduce newly updated training modules, expand its outreach, and forge further industry partnerships that amplify its impact.