Honoris Initiatives To Nurture Employability

By 2100, nearly half of the world’s population below the age of 24 will be Africans, giving the continent the opportunity to be the future of the world’s digital workforce.
Knowing this, our Honoris institutions work hard to ensure that our graduates entering the workforce are equipped with the 21st-century technical, digital, and soft skills needed to thrive amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Through new methods of delivery and technologies, as well as extensive employer partnerships, and more, we are working to continue nurturing and championing employability in Africa.

We take a closer look at some of these initiatives below.

Regent Business School in South Africa Responds to the Unemployment Crisis

RBS developed two business incubators to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of its students in response to South Africa’s poor economic growth and unemployment crisis. redHUB is the entrepreneurial center that was established to support economic recovery at a grassroots level while iLeadLab is an academic makerspace intended for fabrication and to developing market products. RBS established redHUB and iLeadLab as part of its institutional innovation ecosystem to support start-up incubation and small business development.

Entrepreneurship initiatives

redHUB’s mission is to provide practical education, training and mentorship for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs by nurturing their disruptive and innovative skills. RBS students that complete their entrepreneurship program are job-literate, technically numerate, professionally skilled, communicatively competent and ethically sound entrepreneurs whose employability increases just by virtue of the 21st-century skills, attributes and competencies they acquire. The program embeds soft skills such as: autonomy, creative problem solving, goal orientation, networking, system thinking and teamwork; into the curricula as learning objectives and behavioural outcomes to help students to develop an innovation mindset.
RBS’ iLeadLab on the other hand, is an ideal place to expose students to 4IR technologies such as Laser Cutting, Sublimation, Web-development and Social-Media Marketing. Students learn the skills needed to execute a full project. For example, students learn how to manufacture a prototype, and product for the market and how to sell. RBS offers a certificate program in entrepreneurship which is the 1-year Higher Certificate in Entrepreneurship (HCIE) program. The program culminates in a “Shark Tank” type competition with prize money of $8,500 (R150,000 ) which is shared among the top 15 students.

RBS’ investments in iLead and redHUB have led to increased student participation in entrepreneurial activity and the feedback from students is encouraging. Students comment on how the innovation lab program has assisted them in starting their own businesses and express gratitude for the opportunity to acquire entrepreneurship skills.
RBS’ redHUB and iLeadLab continue to innovate, looking for better ways to enhance a learning journey that leverages both entrepreneurship and employability. RBS graduates are innovative creators, multifaceted collaborators, and proficient communicators that are creating businesses. These RBS initiatives are helping prepare the next generation of African entrepreneurs and innovators to make an impact on the global stage.

Nile University of Nigeria Addresses the STEM Talent Shortage in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa ranks among the lowest in numbers of professionals within STEM fields. This can be attributed to lower rates at which African students are enrolling in Sciences, Engineering and other related programs. NUN started off with 384 students in Health sciences, Engineering (IT, Civil engineering, Petroleum and Gas and Biotechnology) in 2017 and has grown to 1,334 within 5 years. STEM programs have achieved yearly growth of about 20%. This remarkable growth is in response to the huge demand for STEM professionals in Nigeria and the continent at large. For example, WHO observes that the doctor-to-patient ratio in Nigeria is over eight (8) times above its recommendation of 1:600. This was part of the impetus for establishing the Faculty of Basic Medical Science and the College of Health Sciences. Both of these faculties have been accredited by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and granted full National Universities Commission accreditation.

Partnerships with professional industry associations

To improve access and quality to jobs NUN has established partnerships with a number of professional industry associations and private businesses in STEM. Institutions such as the Nigerian Institute for Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Power Engineering independently and respectively provide support by way of industry insights, lectures in the classroom and also mentor alumni and students as they navigate their career development journey in STEM fields. Industry giants such as Julius Berger and the Nigerian Communications Company provide internships and work-integrated learning opportunities to NUN students.
For its medical and health sciences students, partnerships with local hospitals Nizamiye Hospital; Asokoro General Hospital; and Wuse General Hospital, give students real-life clinical practice during their courses. At the same time, Honoris plans to expand its award-winning Medical Simulation Center to Nigeria in the short term to increase hands-on experience and support the ethos of ‘never first time on the patient’.

Student outcomes

Nile achieved an employment rate of 76% in 2021, whilst 21% were enrolled in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
With over 2,500 students and 700+ alumni on the digital career services platform, students can network online, and engage in webinars by industry experts. They can also participate in NUN job fairs where over 60 employers come to engage directly with their future talent and prospective workforce. Global consulting company, PwC, played a key role in the distinguishing and formation of the menu of services for Nile’s Career Center.
Nile University is committed to building future generations of IT, Engineering and Healthcare professionals that can thrive and positively impact Africa, supported by a robust investment plan into its campus infrastructure including greater capacity state-of-the-art labs for STEM students.

The Université Centrale Group In Tunisia Scales Quality Employability Services

Université Centrale has added a CV generator to its menu of services as talent sourcing emerges as one of the top services demanded by employers. The CV generator is a customized institution-specific branded solution, created to optimize the time to create or revise a CV, and to improve its readability. Over 2,000 CVs have been processed since its launch in 2021. The uploaded revised and verified CVs form part of a searchable database that is accessible to career center staff and reduces the response time to employers who request shortlists of candidates for various jobs at their companies.

FEDISA in South Africa Leads Fashion Through Industry Collaboration

FEDISA worked with The Foschini Group (TFG) to create a specialized denim teaching & learning module for future graduates. The Concept Denim Module consists of both product development (BA: Fashion) and visual merchandising elements (Diploma). The culmination of that collaboration was the FEDISA Fashion Flash Event & VM Exhibition which was attended by fashion enthusiasts.
FEDISA has been in an 8-year partnership with Cape Union Mart and K-Way to create new athleisure sub-brands within CUM’s broader lifestyle categories. It was also recently recognized by The Vanguard’s Net-a-Porter as one of the prestigious fashion institutes in Africa. One of FEDISA’s final-year students, Courtney Mardon was shortlisted as one of the international finalists.

Student outcomes

FEDISA is recognized as a preferred partner for industry talent due to its implementation of industry standards and impressive employability rate of 76%.
Several factors contribute to making FEDISA one of South Africa’s prestigious fashion institutes. Aside from the industry collaborations, FEDISA students and alumni benefit from a state-of-the-art facility with all the standard and innovative equipment, and teaching approaches.
In 2018, FEDISA launched a state-of-the-art technology lab alongside The Foschini Group (TFG) for its aspiring designers, providing access to some of the most globally advanced machinery and giving students a head start and a competitive advantage upon joining the workforce.
These experiences help students to understand what it takes to succeed in fashion. Graduates gain experience in diverse stages of the fashion value chain starting from creating a brand, marketing, labelling, garment design, production, merchandising, and retail.