UniForum SA, the co.za registrar, has partnered with the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University in line with its commitment to developing ICT skills in South Africa.
The JCSE aims to build high-level capacity and skills for Africa's software sector. As a sponsor of the centre's CoachLab@JCSE initiative, UniForum SA is providing bursaries for three post-graduate students studying in IT-related fields to complete the CoachLab academic programme.
CoachLab@JCSE is part of the JCSE's BOOTUP programme, which aims to improve the supply of software engineers to the local industry. The programme is a partnership between The Innovation Hub (based in Pretoria), the JCSE, the local ICT sector, University of Johannesburg and Wits University.
Bridging the gap
Said Annlizé Marnewick, project manager at the JCSE: "This initiative aims to bridge the gap between study and employment, equipping top post-graduate students for leadership positions in the ICT sector. It aims at addressing the needs in business for young IT professionals with a feel for innovation and an excellent understanding of business principles."
CoachLab is a nine month leadership development programme that is aligned with post-graduate academic programmes at universities. CoachLab aims to bridge the gap between University and employment with a three-pronged approach:
- Training through short courses;
- On the job experience through project implementations;
- Leadership development through coaching & soft skills training.
The aim is to instil business principles and the value of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking in the participating postgraduate students through mentorship by project sponsors. The CoachLab students participate in several real-world projects at sponsoring partners, where emphasis is placed on teamwork, problem-solving and value-adding creative solutions.
The students develop business-orientated skills while receiving financial support and continuing their postgraduate studies.
"As a major player in South Africa's online world, we are aware of how important innovative thinking and IT leadership skills are to the future of the technology industry and to the country's future growth," said UniForum SA chair Theo Kramer. "As such, we are proud to support this initiative to build a base of high-quality IT skills for the future."