Coachlab@Vaal celebrates first cohort of graduates
The Coachlab@Vaal postgraduate leadership and skills development programme at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) recently reached a significant milestone by graduating its first cohort of students.
The Coachlab initiative – which is regarded as one of South Africa’s leading postgraduate leadership and skills development programmes, established the Coachlab @ Vaal programme in 2014 as its third programme in the Gauteng Province. The programme is backed by The Innovation Hub and the South African Graduates and Development Association (SAGDA) in collaboration between prominent industry partners, government, academia and educational institutions that are all committed to establishing a diverse skills base in the ITC sector.
|Some of the main project partners with one of the graduates||Campus Rector (acting), Prof Linda du Plessis|
Partners share a dream of a better tomorrow
The graduation ceremony – which was held at the Vaal Triangle Campus in Vanderbijlpark, saw 19 graduates receiving recognition for successfully completing the programme. Of these 19 graduates, 17 have already been absorbed by the job market. In her address the Campus Rector (acting), Prof Linda du Plessis, said that the Coachlab @ Vaal represents a unique experience, where entrepreneurship, invention and academic knowledge act as catalysts of sustainable development and innovation. “When you look at our graduating class and the numerous partners that are involved it is only natural to view the Coachlab @ Vaal as a diverse hub of activity. Although this assumption is not wrong, it is important to recognise that the programme represents so much more than mere diversity. All stakeholders involved in this programme share a common denominator and driving force, namely to work towards a better future for all South Africans.”
Professor Du Plessis welcomed the various partners present and thanked them for their willingness to contribute towards an initiative such as the Coachlab @ Vaal. These partners includes: The Innovation Hub, MICT Seta, SAGDA, the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) and the MCD Training Centre. Other high-profile guests included representatives from the Emfuleni Local Municipality and members of the Science Centre of the Vaal University of Technology (VUT).
More about the Coachlab programme
CoachLab is a post-graduate leadership and business skills development programme for ICT and engineering graduates. It is a programme that focuses on bridging the skills gap between tertiary education and the working environment.
Graduates are trained to acquire vital skills in business, in dealing with different people and promoting an innovative way of thinking. Graduates in ICT and engineering are required to work on projects, based on real industry challenges with assistance from industry experts, personal coaches and mentors, while studying to obtain their post-graduate degree. Graduates are encouraged to start their own businesses as this is one of the fastest ways to grow the economy. Industry partners are afforded the opportunity to absorb any graduate into their organisation.
CoachLab @ Vaal is a replication of the first successful CoachLab programme established at The Innovation Hub, CoachLab@Hub. There is another node CoachLab@JCSE, which was launched in partnership with the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE), currently running at the University of Witwatersrand. All partners are committed to addressing youth unemployment while promoting innovation and skills development.