First graduates of Samsung UWC Future-Innovation Lab begin pioneering ICT careers

First graduates of Samsung UWC Future-Innovation Lab begin pioneering ICT careers

Following last year’s launch of Samsung’s R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP), Samsung SA and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) officially opened the Samsung Future-Innovation Lab on campus in March this year. 

The EEIP R&D Academy, through its Future-Innovation Lab, aims to provide previously disadvantaged youth (18-35) with skills in software development and digital social innovation.

Samsung SA in partnership with UWC launched the web and mobile software development training programme which focuses on building digital innovation skills for unemployed youth in SA. Aligned with Samsung’s global mission: “Enabling People”, aimed at helping people to discover and develop their full potential, the lab will empower deserving, previously disadvantaged young people.

Now, five months later Samsung and UWC celebrated the graduation and prize-giving of the first set of 74 graduates who took advantage  of this opportunity, worked hard, and ultimately achieved success. Software development skills are highly sought-after in the digital economy, which is why Samsung considers it as an important part of its educational initiatives.

The first cohort of the UWC software development will showcase their learning by solving social problems through digital innovation. During the course, there have been many success stories including that of Sibusiso Labi from the Western Cape. Labi, now 20 years old, was among the thousands of child-headed households in SA. But the determined young man from the Cape Flats refused to be a statistic. 

At age 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 in the Samsung Future-Innovation Lab.

As a result of Labi's excellent academic results on this course, as well as his practical software development skills he, along with 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.  

UWC will host this nine-month programme of applied skills training and building of software products to raise the prospects of employment or digital entrepreneurship.

This article was paid for by Samsung.