A group of about 150 students from the South West Gauteng Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) college were armed with skills to survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in the past 22 days.
The students who participated in the career guidance and 4IR programme were awarded with certificates in a ceremony yesterday at the college in Roodepoort.
The students were taught about robotics, coding, software design and 3D printing. They also received tablets with software that will enable them to design any application.
IT student Tumelo Masibi, 25, said he was bothered about the 4IR as he thought that robots will take over jobs and people will be jobless.
“We just have to accept that technology will become our lifestyle. I learned a lot of robotic model design and how to control them on the phone. With the right software we can also design apps to make lives easy for township business people. For instance, one can design an app for spazza shops in the township to ensure they replace their stock without going to their suppliers,” he said.
Aubrey Sebe, the project manager, said the 150 students were from different faculties. “We received R1.4m from the Chemical Industrial Education and Training Authority (Chieta), which we used to buy Engino robotic kits and tablets with software to prepare the students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.
Yershen Pillay, CEO of Chieta, said the programme was introduced in recognition of the rapidly growing need for skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields. “The world of work and Fourth Industrial Revolution are evolving fast and it was crucial that students are prepared to step into this world.
“This programme will improve the students' employability and will also give them a basic understanding of Fourth Industrial Revolution-related skills and how to apply them within jobs or their own entrepreneur enterprises,” he said.
Higher education deputy minister Buti Manamela, who was at the event, said it is now more evident than ever that people are living in an age where everything is being digitised.
“It pleases us to note that the response by young people to this programme was overwhelmingly positive. We are making an investment in our young people because we want to shift the SA economy from a primarily resource-driven to a knowledge-driven economy,” he said.