Coachlab @ Vaal and bhive EDC: making a valuable impression on postgraduate employment

Annette Willemse -- Sat, 06/04/2016 - 12:34

Coachlab @ Vaal and bhive EDC: making a valuable impression on postgraduate employment

The widespread view that possession of a university degree no longer guarantees success in the job market is simply not true.  It is however important to note that in South Africa about a 100 000 graduates out of two million are unemployed at any given stage.

In a concerted effort to make a constructive difference - not only in terms of graduate unemployment but also sustainable economic growth, the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) took hands with partners in business and industry to vest the Coachlab @ Vaal programme on the Campus.

Coachlab @ Vaal - a postgraduate leadership and skills development initiative, is the result of a dynamic collaboration between the Innovation Hub in Tswane and the bhive Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) on the Vaal Triangle Campus. The bhive EDC is home to one of only three Coachlab centres in the country and aims to empower graduates with knowledge of business principals, entrepreneurial focused thinking and ultimately emphasise the value of innovation.

According to Johann Landsberg – Manager of the bhive EDC, entrepreneurship is vitally important to the economic and social development of our country and the continent. Through innovation, entrepreneurs create new, competitive markets and businesses which lead to job creation and henceforth have a multiplying effect on the economy. Add to this the fact that entrepreneurship empowers citizens and, it becomes clear why entrepreneurship represents much more than a mere buzzword in today’s society.

The Coachlab programme recognizes the need to transform academic students to implementers of sustainable economic growth and development and thereby provides a platform from where university students can be exposed to innovation and innovative business practices.

Elliot Mogosi and Johann Landsberg

The Coachlab @ Vaal Coordinator, Elliot Mogosi, the programme represents a nine month leadership development programme which prepares promising postgraduate students within the field of Information Technology (Honours and Master’s levels) to take part in action-learning projects that stimulate innovative thinking and develop leadership potential which in turn help students to bridge the gap between the academic and business word.  Past participants of the Coachlab @ Vaal programme have gone on to pursue careers abroad and are currently positioned in Vietnam and India.

“The Coachlab initiative represents a win-win scenario for all involved,” says Landsberg and explains that sponsors and partners invest their skills, time and knowledge to create the optimum learning experience for the participants. The industry partners provide the real-time project challenge, mentorship and supervision and in turn gain access to highly skilled post-graduates to execute specific tasks.

If you would like to get involved in the Coachlab @ Vaal initiative – be it as a sponsor, a partner, or a client please contact Elliot or Johann on 016 910 3393/3280

A word from some of the graduates

When asking some of the graduating students of the Coachlab @ Vaal programme, this is what they had to say:

Relebogile Annah Lesenyeho

"The programme prepared me to face the world of work with confidence. I especially feel empowered in terms of presentation and communication skills. The programme gave me the confidence to be the best version of myself!"

Ian Loyiso Ngqoyiyana

"Through training modules that focused on issues like project management and time management I learnt a lot of valuable new skills."

Mpho Alinah Lesenyeho

"I am now sure about my future career path. By means of the exposure we enjoyed to different fields of application, my mind is now set on being a business or systems analyst."

Sanele Handsome Gumede

"Whilst being a student, I did not really know what to expect from the industry. Through the Coachlab @ Vaal programme I literally crossed the bridge between academic knowledge and practical application."

Marike Smith

"The soft skills training was an eye-opener. As IT students we do not deal a lot with issues such as effective communication and conflict management. The concept pertaining to self-management is now a permanent part of my skills repertoire."


Vaal Triangle Campus
Hendrik van Eck Boulevard Vanderbijlpark
South Africa