The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo in partnership with Iqraa Trust, Young Leaders Academy, held its Second Certification Ceremony: Work Readiness Training, at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Hotel School, Ritson Campus, on Monday, 09 September 2019.
The event was well-attended by DUT staff, students, external stakeholders and sponsors. To date, there are 71 DUT students who have already completed the programme, 35 are Chiropractic students and a further 36 students received their certificates on Monday.
Speaking more about the ceremony was DUT’s Phumzile Xulu from the DUT Community Engagement office, who welcomed the guests on behalf of Professor Sibusiso Moyo-DVC of Research, Innovation and Engagement, in absentia. She spoke on the Office of the DVC-Research Innovation and Engagement which launched the DUT Community Engagement (CE) Cluster in November 2018. She added that its primary role is of facilitating community engagements throughout the whole University. She applauded the guests and sponsor, Iqraa Trust under the helm of Dr Mahmoud Youssef-Baker, as well as Advocate Mahomed Vahed and his facilitators from The Young Leaders Academy, who are passionate about developing more employable graduates.
“I want to thank you (Iqraa Trust and the Young Leaders Academy) for showing us (DUT) that initiatives like this are important, initiatives like this still have space, especially now that we are heading towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, things are changing; and that students still need to be ready for work to address the needs of the 21st-century employment demands,” said Xulu.
She further added that she had the privilege to sit in for two sessions with the students, adding that she was chuffed to see them learning the importance of shaking hands, which is important and are the little things that sets one apart. “I was very happy to see that learning to shake hands is part of learning at the training, as well as learning to make a CV and preparing for interviews. I really hope you (students) practice what you are taught, as everything is relevant, and lastly, these are the skills you will also need when you are running your own business,” she said.
Dr Baker from the Iqraa Trust, spoke more on the role of the non-profit organisation which offers donations as a means to uplift the quality of life of all South Africans, by promoting and supporting humanitarian programmes that are designed to help those who are most in need, to help themselves.
“We want to equip you so that you can contribute to the growth and development in South Africa and to share in the benefits of building a better society for all. We have partnered with DUT to offer our support in such programmes like the Work Readiness Training programme, as well as a programme on sustainability. This programme, in particular, is very important. Advocate Mahomed Vahed from the Youth Leaders Academy went to the US and approached me about the programme, and I liked it and said let’s start it together, which we did at DUT. It’s a very unique and important programme, we added the Accounting dimension, basic Corporate Governance aspect, how to prepare a CV, and preparing for an interview, which needs to be taken seriously,” he said.
Further explaining on the programme was Advocate Vahed, who said that recent studies have found that between 50 and 78 percent of employers who had job openings did not hire recent graduates because they were not prepared for the job. He further added that the intensive 16-hour programme targeted tertiary institution students in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The programme comprises of core coursework, together with team-building activities, to enhance their problem-solving, critical thinking skills. We utilise the internationally acclaimed Habitudes Leadership Development Programme material used in 70 countries, and developed by Growing Leaders in the US. The topics covered included effective communication, managing finances, effective CV’s, to name but a few,” he said.
The general consensus from many students were that it was really beneficial and they wish that every student gets the opportunity to do the programme.
Advocate Vahed’s hope is that the Workplace Readiness programme becomes part of DUT’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Programme and a compulsory module for all DUT students.
Xulu said she hopes to continue and grow the relationship with the Iqraa Trust and the Young Leadership Academy, as well as take the recommendations made by students in considering the programme as a possible general education module, going forward.
Pictured: The DUT students with Dr Mahmoud Youssef-Baker, Advocate Mahomed Vahed, Ujir Soni, Phumzile Xulu and team, at the event.