Technology in practice-SUCSESS project (UP)

Youth unemployment as a glaring issue has once again been brought to the forefront by current affairs, researchers and by the media with its significance for economic growth, societal and general wellness identified. Following the research and two training workshops, project leaders, and participants alike, were energized and motivated to apply what they had learnt and discovered in the sessions.

The practical exposure to the project, what it aimed to address as well as the concepts discussed allowed student to envision and apply themselves in line with the competencies required. Lecturers at the University of Pretoria attempted to integrate lessons learnt into teaching and learning. Through various talks and initiatives, students, public as well as potential stakeholders were made aware of the implications of firstly, having an unemployed society and secondly a society of educated but unskilled youth.

In an effort to shed light on the project as well as to engage with stakeholders, project members participated television interviews (remotely and physically). These focused on the implementation of the project inline with issues of youth employability, mental wellness, skills development and efforts carried out by the various universities in union with the EU.

During the ChooseUP 2021 session which were streamed on YouTube (indicating in the use of technology and its ability to reach many), the selected project member highlighted the project and its contribution to upskilling students, creating awareness and how the project serves as a way to give back to society. Students and the greater public were able to attend using various devices.

Details on the project and its progress were shared on various social media platforms both Facebook (now Meta) and Twitter were utilized to disseminate. This was on both the University and participant capacity.

The department of business management hosted sessions with CEOs for the third year Business Management students, wherein they guide students on what they an expect once they enter the world of work. These took place on the platform chosen to administer teaching and learning by the University. As a result of technology, many high-ranking and individuals were able to join and impart knowledge to students. These talks are made available to students and this allows them to share and reflect on what was discussed.

The Covid-19 pandemic served as an accelerator of change while further exposing many of the issues at hand. From the inception of project and even more so with the beginning of the pandemic, technology has proven to be beyond instrumental in allowing reach of both of a wider audience. The Technology purchased during the project allowed the project member and participants to easily communicate and transfer knowledge to students. The mobile nature of the technology meant that the turnaround time was faster and non-limiting in terms of location. It also allowed better illustration of concepts by enabling graphical examples in a classroom.