JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – June 15, 2021 – Samsung South Africa and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) announced the graduation of the Samsung Future-Innovation Lab Second Cohort and Microsoft AppFactory Cohort 1 at the UWC Cape Town campus. In a special ceremony held today, the new graduates were applauded for their achievements despite the difficulty of learning during Covid-19. Samsung has helped learners with tablets, laptops and data access to overcome these challenges and thus enable distance learning.
The Samsung Future-Innovation Lab, which started in September 2019, aims to provide previously disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn skills in software development and digital social innovation. The six-month program focuses on:
- The development of skills and software development portfolios that can open doors to employment or continuing education;
- The development of transferable skills and experiences in digital social innovation and
- Promote gateways to industrial networks.
In addition to the six-month development experience, Samsung and UWC have partnered with Microsoft AppFactory to deliver a nine-month advanced software development program to fill the gap in in-demand software skills. The target group for this program are more experienced software developers who lack practical or professional experience. The program aims to facilitate a practical and real experience through creativity and fun in a learning and working environment.
“Samsung has prioritized education and training in software development, engineering, business management and entrepreneurial skills. In doing so, we believe that as the program grows, more young South Africans can successfully apply their new skills, which are in high demand in the country’s digital economy..The program is also aligned with Samsung’s global mission of ‘Enabling People’, which aims to help people discover and develop their full capabilities and harness the potential for success that exists in the technology industry, ”said Hlubi Shivanda, Director: Business Innovation. Group and Corporate Affairs at Samsung South Africa.
The program is an integral part of Samsung’s 280 million Rand Equity Equity Investment (EEIP) program launched in 2019. The 84 students are now the proud beneficiaries of this long-term vision of growth and success. Graduates included 36 students from the Cross-Platform Software Development Short Course, 41 students from the Digital Social Innovation Short Course, and 7 students from Microsoft AppFactory programs, all of whom can now start well-supported careers in the ICT industry. The graduates were happy to have received this incredible opportunity.
Student Mikaela Gabriel, who described the program as “a life changing”, said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that such an opportunity could happen to me. Not only did I learn new skills, but this course also helped me grow in ways I never imagined. There were rough days, but the whole world was going through these challenges with COVID-19; it 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 footing and make my mark in the tech world. It’s great to know that this platform exists and will help reduce unemployment. “
The Samsung-UWC partnership will continue to make a significant difference in the lives of young people through capacity building programs such as these. This life-changing opportunity increases employment prospects for these students. Samsung is eagerly awaiting the new recruits for the new academic term and wishes them the best of luck on their journey of success.
“Students in the second cohort of the Future-Innovation program, our innovative partnership with Samsung, have been integrated into their learning journey amid the Covid-19 lockdown. For these young students, many of whom come from difficult backgrounds, the realities of the pandemic were very real. One thing we have all learned in these difficult times is that digital technologies can allow us to connect in inspiring ways, ”said Prof. José Frantz, UWC Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation.
Professor Frantz also praised Samsung for its comprehensive support to students in ensuring they have enough data to learn and access the devices they need. “We celebrate this partnership because it helps us live our motto of ‘making research and innovation count by connecting possibilities’, bringing hope through skills development, leveraging technology to connect with human issues and enable learning even in difficult contexts. “