On Saturday 2 April 2022 seven members of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (staff and students), along with two members of the Department of Business Management and two members of Careers Services departed for Helsinki, Finland. They will all be attending a five-day training Workshop at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences for the ongoing Erasmus SUCSESS Project which focuses on university education and students’ employability.
With South Africa still ranking as the country with the highest youth unemployment rate among the G20 countries, the focus of this three-year EU project is of critical relevance. Recently, Stats SA’s data showed that 3.4 million (33.5%) out of 10.2 million young people aged 15-24 years were not in any form of employment, education or training.
Moreover, research has also pointed to the high unemployment rate of graduates, a situation which is also of dire concern. Launched in 2020 under principal investigator Prof Berendien Lubbe, staff and postgraduate students of the departments of Historical and Heritage Studies and Business Management along with Career Services have been doing research and attending workshops and training sessions in an effort to find ways in which these issues can be addressed.
This will be the fourth training workshop to deliberate on the Erasmus SUCSESS project which stands for: “Strengthening university-enterprise cooperation in South Africa to support regional development by enhancing lifelong learning skills, social innovations, and inclusivity”.
The University of Pretoria is one of six institutions, that have partnered in this three-year project aimed at researching ways of reducing youth unemployment and increasing student employability in South Africa.
The other institutions include Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and University of Oulu (Finland), Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), University of Johannesburg and the University of Zululand (South Africa). The aim is to promote collaboration between Higher Education Institution (HEI) students, teachers, and the industry in knowledge triangles.
The focus is on new learning methods and experiential learning which is intended to make it possible for students to learn together with industry. To this end, the project will culminate in the introduction of an Employability Laboratory on the UP campus which will become a learning space where new teaching methodologies and industry can integrate.
From left to right (back row): Marile Roos, Danolien van den Berg, CR Botha, Michele le Grange, Charlene Herselman, Steven Motena, (front row), Hannes Engelbrecht, Reba Letsholo and Winnie Senoamadi