On a mission to discover and develop young people’s full potential, Samsung SA and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) opened the Samsung Future-Innovation Lab on the UWC campus in Cape Town last year. The Future-Innovation Lab aims to provide an opportunity to previously disadvantaged youth (18 to 35), to gain skills in software development and digital social innovation.
With software development skills highly sought-after in the digital economy, Samsung considers it as an important part of its educational initiatives. For this reason, the electronics company, joined forces with UWC to launch the launched the web and mobile software development training programme.The programme focuses on building digital innovation skills for unemployed youth in SA.
74 students took advantage of this life-changing opportunity, worked hard, and achieved success as part of the first cohort of the programme. Several of these students have already been successful in finding entry-level software development positions in the industry.
Mikaela Gabriel who participated in the programme said: “The Samsung FIL experience has simply been life-changing. I have not only acquired a new skill set but this course has also helped me grow in more ways than I ever knew I would. The course helped me realise that the sky’s the limit and whatever we put our hearts and mind to we can achieve”.
Sibusiso Labi from the Western Cape, was among the thousands of child-headed households in SA who refused to be a statistic. At the age of 18, he found a job as a packer at a supermarket distribution centre. A year later he resigned to pursue his dream of becoming a web developer. He has been recognised as the Top Student on the Samsung Future Innovation Lab.
As a result of his excellent academic results on this course, and practical software development skills he and six other aspiring developers are now ready for the next step in their career and will enter the Samsung EEIP App Factory in partnership with Microsoft SA.
The first cohort of the Samsung EEIP App Factory (in conjunction with Microsoft) will soon graduate from their nine-month internship programme which was hosted at UWC. The students have been coached and mentored by industry experts and their final software projects are focused on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies.