1st cohort of unemployed NEMISA graduates equipped with life changing technological skills

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1st cohort of unemployed NEMISA graduates equipped with life changing technological skills

With the newly certified 1st cohort of NEMISA graduates at the back row are front row seated from left: Prof. Muthoni Masinde: CUT CoLab, Ms Antoinette Lombard: VUT CoLab, Ms Ntombi Nhlapo: Representative from Acting Mayor office   Mr. Philemon Mapulane: Deputy Minister DCDT, Mr. Thabo Meeko: MEC DESTEA, Prof. Alfred Ngowi, DVC: Research Innovation and Engagement and Mr Trevor Rammitlwa, CEO: NEMISA.

CUT in partnership with the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA), the Provincial Government, Vaal University of Technology and Human Capital Learning Solutions (HCLS) witnessed the success of digital skills training programme amongst the Free State unemployed youth, where 27 businessmen and women graduated for the cell phone repair programme at the ICT SMME certificate ceremony held in Bloemfontein Campus on 11 October 2023. 

The cohort started their training in June this year, and they are ready to change their life circumstances and ultimately contribute to the country’s economy. Their training programme included digital literacy and entrepreneurship, mentoring and induction on running their own businesses and how they can optimise opportunities. The graduates were equipped with Tablets, cell phone repair tool kit and business registration as part of the programme. 

The event was graced by Mr Trevor Rammitlwa, NEMISA CEO, Ms Antoinette Lombard, VUT CoLab Director, Mr Thabo Meeko, MEC DESTEA, Mr Philemon Mapulane, Honarable Deputy Minister: Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Ms Ntombi Nhlapo from Mangaung Local Municipality.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Ngowi mentioned that CUT is committed to supporting NEMISA to fulfil its mandate of improving the quality of life of youth and women in the country. “We are grateful that CUT was recognised as an important role player to host these important initiatives. We commit to providing infrastructure and human capital support to NEMISA to fulfil its mandate. This ceremony represents the department's aspirations to advance the use of new technology to empower our students and staff, our community, and the world.”

Mr Trevor Rammitlwa, CEO of NEMISA, said they are excited to empower the youth with impactful skills that will uplift them from the status of unemployment to the status of entrepreneurs. “Our learning philosophy is to provide relevant skills for the country’s capacity to lead digital technology and transformation in South Africa. We aim to grow the youth competencies so that they can become self-reliant, effective, and efficient in the global economy and not only locally. Conquer your fears and build the courage to proceed even beyond this project. We want your businesses to be sustainable,” he said.

He further encouraged them to put more effort into all they do to grow and understand the market they are operating in and be competitive leaders in the technology space. He also persuaded them to learn new technologies that come with new cell phones and grow with that. “Look at it from an economic point of view, starting with your family communities around you and ultimately growing bigger. Also, while mastering this newly acquired skill, learn about new software and security issues, investigate further the possibilities of manufacturing the components and accessories locally, and think about the supply chain of those components the tools needed as technology evolves so that you remain relevant in the market,” he added.

In his word of encouragement, Mr Thabo Meeko, MEC DESTEA, applauded all role players for initiating programmes that nurture the society for economic growth and development, which will lead to a successful job creation plan and many other socio-economic challenges and transformation of the economy and inclusive participation of SMME’s. He also mentioned that digital space is critical because it upscales and resolves challenges in growing the economy.” Our SMME’s, especially small businesses in the townships, are confronted with many challenges in that the established economy does not allow new entrants into the mainstream. As a government, we need to be radical in ensuring that this programme is aggressively pursued, and as we do so, we have identified state procurement as one strategic recourse area to ensure that we become deliberate as government working together with civil society,” he said.

For options of expanding their skills, the new graduates were advised to visit the NEMISA website to check other programmes, which include but are not limited to digital creative media, content production, graphic designing, and radio production. The programme is envisioned to expand to TVET colleges and Community Education and Training Colleges.  

Currently, the NEMISA programmes are run at CoLabs situated at CUT, launched in 2021 and led by Prof. Muthoni Masinde, VUT launched in 2014 and led by Ms Antoinette Lombard, and another one in Botshabelo Innovation Hub. The CoLabs play a critical role in upskilling, and re-skilling of citizens in digital skills with the focus on unemployed youth and women. So far, thousands of people have been trained in the Free State. The training takes place in collaboration with Human Capital Learning Solutions (HCLS), a company that offers various solutions and services to support individuals, businesses, and government to achieve their business goals.

Uploaded: 18 October 2023
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