Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) Co-Operative Education Directorate hosted a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Partner Excellence Awards ceremony on 1 September 2022 at the Durban International Convention Centre to celebrate and recognize training partners for their commitment to WIL.
The event was a highlight of the MUT WIL Imbizo during which WIL stakeholders discuss the employability skills of MUT students. Dr Fundiswa Nofemela, Director of the Department of Cooperative Education, said the objective of the awards was to express appreciation for the partnership between MUT and its funders in support of WIL.
The criteria for the recognition were based primarily on the numbers of students consistently hosted for WIL, quality of training, participation in MUT employer engagement activities, as well as the offering of employment to MUT students. The WIL programme is designed to facilitate the practical experience for students to gain confidence, skills and experience within the real working world.
MUT Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dr Manyane Makua, in his welcoming address, acknowledged the employers’ contribution to student development by providing an opportunity for the students to learn by doing.
Among the 33 organisations that were acknowledged through the Employer Excellence Awards were Foskor, Mhlathuze Water and Wentworth Hospital, for training considerable numbers of students over several years, exhibiting at the MUT Careers Fair, and participating in WIL Imbizo and Advisory Boards, as well as offering employment to MUT students.
Receiving the Vice Chancellor’s 10-Year Award for consistent support of the WIL, consistent participation in MUT Employer Engagement activities, and offering permanent employment to students, as well as having been awarded at previous WIL Excellence awards, either at MUT or national level, were Transnet, National Health Laboratory Services, eThekwini Municipalities, Umgeni Water, ESKOM in New Germany, as well as the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform.
Commenting on the awards, Vuyo Sibeko from the Department of Water and Sanitation Pretoria applauded the event, and they learnt a lot from it. He said they would open training space for students in KZN.
Recognizing the contribution of SETAs in helping the institution to create training opportunities for its students in industry, MUT awarded the Honourable Awards to the MerSeta, Chieta, LGSeta, HWSeta, AgriSeta, Bankseta, PSETA and the Technology Localization Implementation Unit.
Appreciating the award, PSETA Chief Executive Officer, Bontle Lerumo said that as PSETA, they considered the award as evidence of their significant contribution towards a developmental and transformative public service in South Africa.
Dr Tobias Poswa, Head of the Environmental Health Department, said they appreciated such events because they showcased the success of the partnership and the value add that was done by their service providers to MUT students.
Job Placement Officer at the Cooperative Education Directorate, Zama Hlubi, expressed her department’s appreciation to industry players for collaborating with MUT.
‘We appreciate all our employer partners who managed to still host our students during the difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic. The dedication of industry ensured that our students could still graduate and later find employment” said Hlubi.
Chairperson of the MUT Council, Sanelisiwe Mnyandu expressed appreciation for the work that industry is doing in the training of MUT students.